“So, Lone Starr, now you see that evil will always triumph, because good…is dumb.” – Dark Helmet, Spaceballs
Regardless of his undeniable brainlessness, the sinister mastermind played by Rick Moranis in the above-quoted Mel Brooks classic did indeed strike a nerve within me when he made that declaration. I’ll be the first to shamelessly admit that, as a child, I was unwaveringly drawn toward the side of the bad guys. Yes, the evil-doers were held in high favor when it came to the expression of my imagination through the use of action figures. They had cooler weapons, insanely killer plans of ruling the universe…and damn it, they just looked better. Vader and his empire were constantly blasting the rebellion into galactic oblivion. Time and time again, Skeletor and his beastly minions were laying waste to the innocents of Eternia as He-Man could only look on, broken and beaten in the dungeon of Greyskull. Without fail, that outrageous, half-wit terrorist organization known as Cobra would bring the hammer down on not just G.I. Joe, but the entire world to dominate with an iron fist. Yes, any attempts the supposed heroes made vanquish their wicked opposition were pretty much crushed whenever my way of seeing things was involved. Apparently, from childhood to today, nothing much has changed. I still find myself rooting for the villain. I’m sure I’m not the only person that roots for the “monster” in horror movies. Leatherface, Pinhead, countless hordes of flesh-chomping zombies…they all get my undying support. This idea quickly spilled over into much of my musical interests. Many may agree that a lot of the best music in history involves at least a sliver of an element of danger and, dare I say…evil. Whether it’s classical, 1950’s rock n’ roll, today’s blood-and-guts death metal, or whatever…you can find the bad guy’s fingerprint on just about everything.
Such a flashback of life-long allegiance to the dark(er) side, and its link to today’s extreme music world, can be seen as a precursor to an interest in black metal. Through its history, the genre has consistently waved the banner of the impious misfit. Bands like Florida’s Secrets She Kept are making sure that flag remains flying high. Since 2002, the band has unloaded their arsenal of depressive ditties of death upon mankind in the form of a demo, Symphonies of Eternal Suffering and Damnation, and a 2005 full-length, Requiems to Midnight, Woe. With their new record, La Fin Absolue du Monde, vocalist/guitarist Necrol and associates have delivered another baleful dagger deep in the heart of do-gooders everywhere.
Produced by Joe Hollow and mastered by legendary guitarist, James Murphy (of Death and Disincarnate fame), La Fin Absolue du Monde (Metal Messiah Records) is comprised of nine tracks of nihilistic, and at times, darkly quixotic black metal fury. Thrashing numbers like album-opener “Legion-666”, “Carrion Soul”, and “Fucking Christ” scream with an aggression found in the work of Incantation or the more ferocious side of Nachtmystium. Necrol’s raspy vocal approach tears through the somewhat traditional black metal production like a switchblade through tender flesh. The band’s rampaging riffs are accompanied throughout songs like the beautifully-titled “The Messiah of Pus and Bleeding Excrement” by the bludgeoning, seamless percussion of drummer Mike Heller, also of New York death metal squad, Malignancy. Meanwhile, “A Wolf for Every Womb” switches gears, slowing down a bit with a more straight-ahead metal feel.
With as many levels as Hell itself, the record is full of atmosphere and depth…a concept lost on many of today’s newer bands. It combines an old-school approach with a “fresh blood” feel. With La Fin Absolue du Monde, Secrets She Kept have constructed a haunting, powerful beast of a record, the complexity of which simply cannot be taken in completely on one listen alone. One secret that has definitely been let out of the bag is that this record, for lack of a better term, destroys!