Diary of Secrets - Diary of Secrets
Sleaszy Rider Records
Heavy Metal
11 songs ()
Release year: 2013
Sleaszy Rider Records
Reviewed by Alex

Supporting your home country young up-and-coming bands is something many labels do, Greek Sleaszy Rider Records being no exception in the case of Diary of Secrets. After a few years of demos, the band is releasing their first eponymous full-length after teaming up with Marius Iliopoulos (Nightrage) as a producer.

After the Chapter 1 intro is over, the rougher edge in guitars in Stone Heart Bleeding, coupled with a vocalist having what seems like a case of bad laryngitis, makes Diary of Secrets classically oriented heavy metal drift into the corner Grave Digger, Running Wild and Lonewolf call home. The band almost unapologetically sticks to this tried and true style, relying on well-known heretofore, but quality crafted simple hooks, culminating with sing along choruses (Stone Heart Bleeding, End of Days (Falling Skies), Immortal, Another Age is Yet to Come). There is a muscly rocker with a touch of epic and an active bass (J&H), and Thy Devilish Guardian pushes the pace which wasn’t blistering until then, exposing a bit of drum muddiness during double bass sequences, but highlighting the guitars. The latter are actually very much quality in Diary of Secrets, sticking to the riffs from catchy (Stone Heart Bleeding, End of Days (Falling Skies)) to heroic (Outlaw), and peeling off solo after shredded solo, almost always on point and in the rightful place with a rare exception (Outlaw).

Besides its not just retro, but dated, style, the other problem for Diary of Secrets is their vocalist. The promo sheet says that guitarist and bandleader Tom “Hellfinger” D recruited Bill to sing on the album. Either the band did not advertise enough in its recruiting drive, or for some reason not too many applications rolled in, but Bill can’t sing. Sure enough, Chris Boltendahl and Jens Borner are not Pavarotti either, and that is not required with the style of metal Diary of Secrets play, but Bill can’t stretch a single note vocally while guitars pour themselves out (I am Living Fire), and does best when he simply tries to harmonize along to the riffs, but even then he has hard time (End of Days (Falling Skies), Outlaw). Being helped by gang vocals in many choruses (Stone Heart Bleeding, Another Age is Yet to Come, You Can’t Hide) saves Bill, as alone he obviously can’t quite crack it. When The Archangel comes along and you recognize that something balladic is about to appear after the keys/violin intro, you will think to yourself “oh, no, how could they let him even try one”. Thankfully, The Archangel is an all-out instrumental giving Tom another chance to be a guitar hero and prove his chops bordering on progressive.

Rough vocals of course not an exception with classic/power heavy metal, I have a feeling that people appreciating Diary of Secrets debut will mostly come down rather not to Bill’s singing, but whether you will like the hooks and riffs the band came up with. If you catch yourself singing along to the choruses of End of Days (Falling Skies), Thy Devilish Guardian, and Outlaw, then the attempt by the Greeks was largely a success. Still, some may get through the album and, while not finding it offending, will have hard time remembering what just went by.

Killing Songs :
End of Days (Falling Skies), Stone Heart Bleeding, Thy Devilish Guardian, The Archangel, J&H
Alex quoted 72 / 100
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