Genre: Power/Heavy Metal
Country: Norway
Label: Crime Records
Year: 2019

What they lack in inventive nomenclature, they gain in creativity. That’s Secret Chapter, I’m talking about, who have decided to take us on a journey to the distant and dark past of the 80s with one foot kept firmly in the contemporary scene. Keeping count: anathemic choruses, loud vocals that bring us sweet memories of Geoff Tate and triumphant solos in the right place at the right time. With an album of respectable ambition, Secret Chapter seek to marry the old and the new, introducing a variety of contemporary metal influences into their nostalgic narrative. The compositions feature constantly moving and revolving guitar riffs a la Symphony X and clear, tight drum production. Given the inventive structure of the songs, they bring a breath of fresh air not only to the tired 80’s metal sound but also to the equally tired 80’s metal revival sound (which seems to hit us every 5-10 years).

The band gifts us with some memorable cuts, pulling the classic one-two punch move near the beginning of the album with Baptized in Ecstasy and Human Centipede (no, no, I’m serious, it’s good, I promise). Unfortunately, the rest of the album suffers from a lack of development, as its fresher elements quickly become stale by repetition. In addition, Secret Chapter adopt the bad tendency of the accursed decade’s label / radio coerced bands to put in as many filler tracks as needed to get the CD length right. So after a couple of hearings, the adventurous excitement I got from the start of the album was overtaken by my despair as I waited for the ballads and washed-out power chord riffs to end. In short, Chapter One is a solid attempt, but it’s worth the effort to give the next LP a good ‘shave’ before it hits the public.