01. Dance Of The Waves 02. First Creature 03. Inner War 04. Learning To Lose 05. Regrets 06. Tears Of Kalliroe
Keen fans of Progressive Metal should find themselves some quite nice listening with this debut album "Flowing Portraits" from Soul Secret. I'm not exactly a "Prog-nut" myself, so perhaps I'm a bit misguided but I've found myself enjoying most of what I hear on this album. There are only six songs but the album clocks in at over 50 minutes meaning that Flowing Portraits is mostly filled with 7-8 minute tracks and a 16+ minute epic. Each of the longer songs has enough creativity though to stop most listeners from hitting the "skip" button on their CD players half way through each track.
Not everyone likes keyboards as a major instrument in melodic metal, but Soul Secret has showed here that they can work rather well. Symphony X fans will notice some similarities in the keyboard work of both bands (and even the vocals to some extent for that matter) but for me, I enjoy the Progressive sides of Symphony X so this isn't a bad thing. On Flowing Portraits Luca Di Gennaro's keyboard work provides a kind of symphonic background layer at times, but is more often hitting solos or adding to the "meandering" feeling you seem to get from this kind of music. Both the guitars and keyboards come together fairly well without either of them following the same pattern.
Apart from the simple acoustic track "Regrets" (which isn't all that interesting really) the songs on Flowing Portraits are pretty good at keeping the listener's attention. Each song will wander through in an unpredictable way then after perhaps a keyboard solo as a bridge, the chorus will kick in, reminding you you're still listening to the same song. Even after listening to this album the first time you can still be interested to be reminded as to what's around the corner. The song "Inner War" is the best example of this as it grooves along, the second half filled with solos then the chorus bursts through in all it's catchiness. A few piano notes at the end close the song very well. The epic final track "Tears Of Kalliroe" does well to not be boring too. The massive symphonic build-up prepares the listener for some heavy guitars and attractive keyboard accompaniment (except for the occasional "space-age" sounds which I don't think fit as well). In a way similar to Iced Earth's "Dante's Inferno" it keeps the listener captivated all the way to the end.
This debut from Soul Secret provides a strong blend of well played instruments which I think will appeal to fans of Progressive Metal and things generally melodic alike.