Best of 2016 Playlist

October 16, 2015

SECRETS - "Left Behind" Single Review

SECRETS lost original frontman Xander Bourgeois in 2013, and this October they announced that Aaron Melzer would be exiting the band after a 2 year stint. To the surprise of fans, SECRETS also announced that they had finished their 3rd album, but it was recorded with new frontman Wade Walters (I almost shit my pants because I thought his name was Wade Wilson and that would have been too much for me to handle). 

Set for a December 11 release date, we eagerly await the new album from this band. Though they have gone through many lineup changes, SECRETS have gotten better with time ("Fragile Figures" being on of the best modern post hardcore albums we've had the pleasure of listening to) To preorder their album on iTunes click this (link).

With another new vocalist, we enter a new era of SECRETS. One of the better things about Walters' introduction is that his vocals are similar to Melzer's. They both choose a gruffer, grittier scream style rather than the deeper growls provided by Xander. Which makes the transition from one vocalist to another much smoother, especially since fans initially had a tough time accepting Melzer's style. Still, even with Walters' uncanny vocal resemblance to Melzer, he doesn't get a lot of time to show what he's capable of. There are few unclean vocal spots for him that give Walters room to branch out. He's capable of more, something that anyone who has since seen the band perform live will attest to. 

With the clean vocals, Rogers gives a vocal performance that will invoke thoughts of Tyler Carter and his performances in Issues. Which isn't bad, it's just unexpected and comes off as a little force. Rogers' voice is strong as ever, but the Kellin/Tyler style doesn't suit him. He's better off with a Vic/Trenton approach, or whatever you want to call his technique on previous albums. 

Vocals aside, the song is a serious shift from the band's previous songs. It's definitely a song from a Rise Records band. Anyone who is reading should know hat that means. Electronics, breakdowns, and high pitched vocals. Now the band's previous works haven't followed the typical Rise blueprint, at least not as much as this song has. They throw in some pop choruses and heavy breakdown verses, and then mix everything until you can't hear much besides the vocals. Thankfully neither vocalist has a particularly dominating voice, so it's not as if you're listening to the new blessthefall album. 

The softer moments of the song really back up the assertion that the band has dived headfirst into Risecore. It's a little disappointing since songs like "Dance of the Dead", "Artist vs Who?" and "Infinite Escape" weren't like what other post hardcore/metalcore bands on the label were doing. Hopefully the rest of the album shows some more of the band's previous style. 

Summary -
Taking a cue from Rise Records label-mates Issues, the band introduces a new side to fans. Experimenting with some pop and electronic rock makes this a very Rise song, though it's not Risecore. Not yet anyway. So it may take longtime fans a while to get past the label's meddling. The song's chorus is delivered perfectly by Rogers, and Walters' unclean vocals are spot on. The transition from Aaron to Wade won't be difficult for fans, unlike the shift from Xander to Aaron. Wade captures the gruff screams while staying true to his own style. The main drawback to this new song... the obvious presence of the band's label. Why does Rise always have to go and ruin good bands?

Rating - 8.5/10