Thursday, May 24, 2012

Secreted Entity - Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly Activities (2012; New Standard Elite Records)

Slam is not a genre known for subtlety. In fact, the utter lack of subtlety is one of the core ideologies of the genre. Still, sometimes albums can be hard to grasp completely after a first listen. What seems ordinary at first glance is revealed to be a hidden gem after a little more delving. Because of this, I make sure to always give albums I review at least two listens. Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly Activities by new Cali slammers Secreted Entity is one those albums that took some time to get into, but once it clicked I found myself listening to some top-notch slam.

In one sentence Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly Activities can be summed up as Colombian slam viewed through an American lens. Take the cutting tremolo melodies and crushing grind/slams of bands like Amputated Genitals and Blaze Inside, and replace the brutish coarseness of Colombian slam, and replace it with the more refined Cali sound and you'll have an idea of what this album sounds like. I'm not sure if Secreted Entity were trying to go for a more Colombian sound, or if they merely stripped and bent the normal technicality of the countless CADM Disgorge clones, but they ended up with something unique and really good. I'm a big fan of how dirty and rough a lot of Colombian bands are, but Secreted Entity prove that kind of riffing works well with a good production.

Speaking of production, this album sounds great. Everything is thunderous and loud without the annoying "loudness" that so many "well-produced" albums end up having. The drums especially sound great. Pounding and visceral, but never overpowering. The excellent sound really helps Secreted Entity display their hybrid style to the fullest. In fact, I think Horrifying Hallucinations of Ungodly Activities relies on it. This album is greater than the sum of its parts because of how killer everything sounds.

I do have a few minor criticisms however. The first is how flat the pace is throughout the album. Secreted Entity play at what I would call a "lumbering" speed. This is fine, but I wish they would change it up more. After all, drastic tempo changes are what slam is all about. Secondly, the album/song titles read like brutal death mad-libs. This is a minor thing and I don't expect a lot, but a consistent theme can go a long way in establishing an overall aesthetic for the album.

Definitely give this album a try (or two). Secreted Entity have crafted one of the better and more unique albums to come out this year.

Note: Thanks to the anonymous commentor who recommend this album to me.


Pissmaster said...

Nice review man. Could somebody of you check out my band Abhorrent Castigation? You find download links and everything on our facebook page:
Would be killer :)

Nick Adams said...

I've got a few other reviews in the works right now, but I just downloaded your demo. I should be able to give it a quick review at some point in the future.

Pissmaster said...

Thanks bro!