While one has to wonder if the slang definition of the word Taint was lost in translation to this Welsh outfit, the influence of southern rock, sludgy progressive Bay Area metal and early 90's NY post hardcore clearly crossed the sea loud and clear. A diverse blend of styles, "Secrets And Lies" currently stands as one of the UK's finest unfiltered and innovative exports.
Sure the band sport a raw convergence of Mastodon/Baroness styled prog sludge met with stirring Southern bluesy riffs akin to Clutch and The Sword (and of course Zeppelin and Sabbath.) But they don't stop there, there's also a healthy portion of the heartfelt post hardcore vocal soul bearing that groups like Helmet and Quicksand helped to popularize just over a decade ago.
This volatile and uneven mixture is by far the most endearing quality of "Secrets And Lies". Even though the album features solid production and thick arrangements, it readily comes off with a gritty jam room idealism. Even the inclusion of wind instruments (yes, for once a band didn't just experiment with strings or piano) can't stop the tectonic riffing from sounding earthen and weighty.
Flush with spiraling riffs and hazy interludes, "Secrets And Lies" is not only a cathartic venture through toweringly disparate valleys and peaks. It is an epic journey that uncomfortably highlights just how predictable the bluster and gloss of most contemporary American metal bands has become. Easily an early contender for the sleeper hit of the year.
(4 / 5)