Formed in 2014, Secret Rule released four albums to the date, the latest being ‘The 7 Endless‘, released on 25th of January 2019. We had the pleasure of listening (multiple times) to the album and writing a review. FemMetal also had the chance to talk with the ‘Femme’ behind the ‘Metal’ in Secret Rule, lead vocalist Angela Di Vinceszo and ask her about the new album and her life in the band.
Click here to jump to the interview and skip the review (Although you’ll hurt my feelings).
‘The 7 Endless’ Album Review
Long story short, I wished ‘The 7 Endless’ was endless. Here are some details on why we loved this album. (P.S. Because I’m lazy I will refer to the album as T7E from now on)
From the very first note on the very first track, to the very last note on the very last track, the music in T7E is like a machine, fully functional, fully constructed and simply, gorgeous.
The album opens with an epic symphonic intro in ‘The Endless’, then falls into a continuous heavy riffs walking pace and pace with a background symphony. The music on this song felt like the score of an epic movie that plays at the peak of events. The music in the album is very far from being repetitive or monotonic. Each track has its own musical identity with different sounds on the albums, varying from industrial melodic Metal on tracks like ‘Birth’ and ‘Hidden Into a Dream’ to gorgeous symphonies in ‘The Endless’ and ‘Dream’, and some soothing softer Rock sounds on tracks like ‘Delirium’ and ‘The Awakening’. The guitar solos on the album are quite remarkable, my favourite being the one on ‘Alone’.
And then there’s ‘Destruction’. In simple words, ‘Destruction’ is one of these songs that mark a band’s career. Wonderful intro, a fast and hard tempo with epic riffs forged in one masterpiece of a song!
The album is a concept album with a theme and a story. We won’t talk much about the content, (we hate spoilers), but the lyrics are well-constructed, well-written and beautifully arranged. It’s very hard to write lyrics that are rotating about the same theme axis and yet each song can stand alone. Yet Secret Rule has done it!
Here we talk about the performance and arrangement of the music and lyrics into the album. I am personally a huge fan of Angela’s voice. In most of the tracks it falls like stream of water flowing with the music and on others it’s like a waterfall, pacing with the heavier riffs and beats.
The songs are well-arranged. When you reach ‘Desperation’, 8th track, and after a wonderful drift between Symphonic melodies and guitars, you feel the need to hear Angela’s voice on a softer song, and voilà, ‘Delirium’. The album is very continuous with genius movements between outros and intros.
Simple, beautiful, asking questions in the mind of the viewer and pulling them to listen to the album and know the answers.
Interview with Angela Di Vincenzo
Mirk: Hello Angela. It’s an honor to talk to you! How are you today?
Angela: Hello Mirk! I’m fine, thanks, and happy to talk to you.
Mirk: First, congratulations for releasing your new album, The 7 Endless. What can you tell us about this album? How is it different from your previous releases?
Angela: Thanks. This album is our first concept album and it’s inspired by “The Endless”, special characters from “The Sandman” Universe, a comic book written by Neil Gaiman. It’s different because it’s the first one we made with Nicola as our drummer (on “The key to the world” he has only recorded the songs but he didn’t take part to the album’s composition). Moreover, compared to the previous albums, this one is heavier for sure, but it has, as always, catchy melodies.
Mirk: It surely is my favourite. This is your fourth album in almost five complete years as a band. That’s a really great number. What inspires Secret Rule to write all this good music in such a relatively short time?
Angela: Andy and I are a volcano of ideas. Personally, since I was a child I’ve always sung melodies created by me and every time I have an idea it ends recorded on my phone. Andy writes riffs and arrangements and keeps them on his computer. A few months after the release of one album, we pick our ideas up and we start to select what we can work. In this case, moreover, I had the idea to work on a concept album inspired by “The Sandman” Universe. Basically, it’s important to have every task scheduled.
Mirk: In 2018 FemMetal Awards you won the voting for Artemis Award. You are one of the few artists who received more than 1,000 votes. How does having such a devoted and passionate fan base make you feel?
Angela: It was a real surprise and obviously it made me happy. I want to thank you again for this opportunity. I didn’t expect this result but Secret Rule are for sure growing and our exposure has grown with this fourth album.
Mirk: How do you describe Secret Rule’s musical style? What inspires you as a band? How are you different from other bands musically?
Angela: Wow, it’s a really difficult question 😊 We don’t like labels on music, we just play what we like to play. Of course every band mate has a different background, from classic metal to thrash metal, pop music and epic atmosphere. Every time it is a mix of our influences. So it’s very hard to define our music in two words.
Mirk: It’s definitely great music whatever it is called!
You’re from Italy, and recently Italy is producing many great bands, especially female fronted. And many of these bands, Secret Rule probably being on top of the list, are making exceptionally great music. How do you see the present and future of the metal scene in Italy?
Angela: I agree with you, a lot of Italian bands are standing out from the “chaos” (there are too many female fronted metal bands in Italy and in the world) and most of all, they’re having visibility abroad. In Italy the situation is not so good. There are more metal musicians than supporters!
Mirk: With artists as good as you I can see the situation changing soon.
How did you, Angela, first get into singing? How did you discover your talent and decide to direct it towards this type of music?
Angela: I have some music cassettes of me singing when I was 1 year old (laughs). I used to wait my parents to leave the house to start singing “with no shame” and I used to record my voice on music cassettes. Anyway… my father was against my passion but some of my friends who believed in me, helped me to find a band (the first one was when I was 15 years old and there was no internet yet) and to take part to singing contests. But everything started with Italian pop music. Then, I met metal music when I was around 22, when I started to date a metalhead guy. He brought me to a Stratovarius’s live concert and I fell in love with metal music.
Mirk: That’s amazing! What singers, metal or not metal, influence you as a vocalist?
Angela: As I told you, I started with Italian pop singers like Giorgia, Laura Pausini and so on… Then I listened to international pop/rock music like Skunk Anansie, No Doubt, Alanis Morissette, Anouk, Bjork… and finally metal music with Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Within Temptation, Theater of Tragedy, Anathema and so on. A mix of good music from different genres.
Mirk: During your five years and counting time with Secret Rule, what was the experience you treasure and value the most?
Angela: Every experience with my band-mates are unforgettable. We’re like a family and our time together is always full of laughs. I think I’m lucky (even if I looked for musicians like them for many years!!) but my perseverance was repaid for this. Anyway, for sure the Symphonic Metal Nights Tour was one of my best experiences. I met great musicians, we played in cool venues and we had the opportunity to have a big crowd in front of us, and this helped us to have more visibility and it gave us the certainty we have to go ahead!
Mirk: When I was preparing the interview, my friend Betty and I were doing some research about you and Secret Rule. And she said after seeing your photos: “Wow she has such a beautiful and contagious smile.” What is the secret behind your smile that appears in most of your photos? What makes you happy and able to spread happiness around you?
Angela: Wow! It’s a beautiful feeling knowing that I spread happiness 😁Joking aside, I’m happy when I sing and I can’t hide this feeling. If people could smile more, the world would be a better place. Yes, love and smiles are “the key to the world” 😉
Mirk: I definitely agree!
Finally, your Instagram bio says you like comic books and movies, so I guess this questions comes naturally. Marvel or DC? And what is your favourite movie or movies?
Angela: Ok… both Marvel and DC, I can’t choose. But I also love manga and graphic novels (very serious readings). About movies, my favourite directors are Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino (if I have to choose two names). Some movies I like are “Donnie Darko”, “Neverland”, “Alice In Wonderland”, “The Crow”, “Edward Scissorhands”,”Kill Bill”,”Memento”,”Matrix”,”Parnassus”… but there are a lot of movies that touched me a lot… my list is very long!
Mirk: Thank you Angela for this interview! Congratulations on your album again, and we wish you the best of luck in your future projects!
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