Secret Signs

Album Title: 
For A Lifetime
Release Date: 
Monday, January 28, 2013
Review Type: 

Based in Madrid, Spain, this band was founded in April 2005 when keyboardist Sergio López and guitarist Jose Manuel Torres met each other through a very popular Internet music forum. Influenced by the likes of Epica, After Forever and Nightwish, their desire was to start a European female fronted Symphonic Metal project. So, with that in mind they first went in search of a rehearsal space, and then went on the lookout for the additional members to complete the line-up. First to join was drummer Raúl Ronco, but it wasn't until November in the same year that the band found its first singer, one Lucia Sánchez. A short time after, the first line-up was completed with the joining of bassist Jose Luis Tarano.

Following a lot of rehearsals and the occasional show, the band finally got a chance to record 3 tracks for the early 2008 released demo EP Through the Stars. Recorded at the renowned Sonora studios under production guidance of the band's friend and sound technician Sonia Robles, the title song got airplay at several Metal radio stations, and as a result the band were increasingly invited to play at local gigs. Seeing opportunities in their momentum, Secret Signs returned to the Sonora studios to record a full-length's album worth of material, again with Robles, and started looking for a label to release their album. Regretfully, the band's positive came to a halt, when toward the end of 2009 Lucia decided to concentrate on her studies and subsequent job. She was eventually replaced by a young soprano singer by the name of May Lucas, whom besides having a great voice, also had the attitude that fit the band perfectly. While continuing to look out for a label, the band did its occasional gigs, the most memorable being a March 2010 support slot for Norwegian Goth Metal act Theatre Of Tears in Madrid during the latter's farewell tour. Positively received by the audience, the gig brought praise from the press, but did not yet result in any positive label contacts. To adjust the recordings of the album to the new singer, Robles re-recorded the vocal lines with May in February of 2011 at Madrid's Oasis studios, and remixed 'em into the instrumental recordings. At long last, the band got in contact with UK label Casket Music, whom released the album in the UK in July of last. Due to the current-day “crisis”, us Europeans (and other, non-Britain civilians) can only enjoy the album since late January.

So, there it is: a 10-track album for lovers of Goth Metal with Progressive and power Metal influences and a Classical touch from the female lead vocals. Personally, I'm not too hot about those female vocals, due to the fact that May keeps her notes up in the high octave regions, even when she's not actually doing' “soprano” singing. For me, that starts feeling a bit “heady” after a couple of songs, and the fact that one of the guys frequently injects a couple of growled vocal lines (and that there's added backings by The Choir of Pozuelo de Alarcón on two songs) doesn't change a lot about my overall opinion of the band. Midway the album, the album even has a ballad in “Battle For The Darkness”, a duet with Sakara singer Andrés San José (as well as added grunt passages), but even in this overall calmer track there's something that compels me from completely enjoying the track. Ach, I'm sure it's just me, and fans of the genre will doubtlessly condemn me for putting the band (and its singer) down. To find out for yourselves, check out the band's website (www.), or their page at MySpace. To contradict my “negativity” above, you may find my rating of the album rather high...of course that is due to the instrumental aspect of the band's music!