Secret Rule

"Universe" is n excellent melodic Metal album and a great mixture of catchiness, bombast, heaviness, and orchestral arrangements
November 27, 2023

SECRET RULE hailing from Rome, Italy were formed in 2014. The ever-busy melodic Metal band release already their 9th full-length album! “Universe” was mixed and mastered by guitarist Andy Menario (MARTIRIA; SECRET RULE) at Italian Digitall Studio. The album has a length of about 51 minutes, and it was released via German label 7hard, which has many melodic and Heavy Metal bands among their current roster.

The album starts with a short tension-building pre-lude to “Disorder”, which is a mid-tempo track with dark melodies. The verse parts are mainly driven by strong basslines and the vocals, while the guitars are prominent during the chorus parts. The melodies of SECRET RULE songs are typically catchy, and “Disorder” is no exception. The focal point besides the bass are the unique vocals of Angela Di Vincenzo, who leads excellently through the track. “Disorder” is a very good opener; it is one of those tracks that make appetite for more. “Equilibrium” starts with a bombastic orchestral part, transitioning into the verse part at a measured tempo. It is a very emotional track with prominent orchestral arrangements with led by the strings and piano. “Equilibrium” is written towards the vocal strengths of Angela Di Vincenzo, whose versatility, vocal range, and, most importantly, her ability to transport emotions gives the track an extra dimension. “Shards Of Time” starts heavy with powerful guitar riffing leading into another bass driven verse part at mid-tempo. The chorus parts are at a measured tempo with melodies, which have a slight melancholic touch and a few Gothic vibes. The break is a quiet one with the piano and the vocals leading through it. “Shards Of Time” has been released as video, and the YouTube link is provided below.

Gravity On Us” starts with a short string-driven pre-lude, transitioning into the track at a measured tempo and providing the main melody. It is a quiet song with ballad-esque features and prominent orchestral arrangements. The chorus parts are epic with catchy chorus melodies. It is another track for Angela Di Vincenzo to shine and she grabs the opportunity. The title track is one of the album ballads. The melodies are beautiful, the track is emotional, and it is an excellent mixture of Metal instruments and orchestral arrangements, with the vocals on top of it. After two quiet songs, “I Am” is one of the heavier tracks with thunderous guitar riffs accompanied by electronic effects. The track is played at measured tempo at an almost stomping rhythm. The chorus melodies are catchy with almost sing-along chorus lines. Leaving the electronic effects aside, “I Am” reminds a bit on the very early LACUNA COIL period about 20 years ago. “Time Zero” starts with crushing basslines and it is arguably the heaviest album tracks with powerful riffing. It is another song at a measured tempo, where the guitars and bass drive the verse parts, while the chorus parts include prominent orchestral arrangements, which give the track a little bit of bombast. What sticks in my mind are the guitars, where guitarist Andy Menarini lets all hell break loose.

Multiple Me” starts with an organ part transitioning into another powerful track driven by the guitars and the orchestral arrangements, with the brass being most prominent. The song has bombastic chorus parts and dark melodies. Once again, the vocals are the overarching element and Angela Di Vincenzo has an outstanding performance with her versatility. Besides the vocals, another highlight is the contributing lead guitar solo. “From Null To Life” starts with a short orchestral and electronic driven intro, transitioning into the verse parts at mid-tempo. The chorus parts are slightly slower with a choir providing an atmospheric background. While the verse and chorus parts are straightforward, there is a bit more complexity during the break including a vocal contribution of Andy Menarini. “Black Hole” has a quiet start with acoustic guitars and orchestral arrangements led by the strings. Guitars and strings equally contribute to the second album ballad and the listener has another opportunity to lean back, listen and enjoy the beautiful voice of Angela Di Vincenzo with all her power, emotions, and fragility. The album finishes with the piano and vocal version of the title track.

SECRET RULE deliver an excellent melodic Metal album. It is a very emotional album with a great mixture of catchiness, bombast, heavy riffing, strong basslines, and orchestral arrangements. The songs are written towards the vocal strengths of Angela Di Vincenzo, who shows that she is one of the very best vocalists in melodic Metal with her vocal range, her versatility, and her ability to transport emotions to the listener. The album is very well produced. “Universe” is arguably the best album of SECRET RULE to date, and it is a serious contender of the melodic Metal album of the year.

10 / 10









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"Universe" Track-listing:
  1. Disorder
  2. Equilibrium
  3. Shards Of Time
  4. Gravity On Us
  5. Universe
  6. I Am
  7. Time Zero
  8. Multiple Me
  9. From Null To Life
  10. Black Hole
  11. Universe (Piano And Vocal Version)
Secret Rule Lineup:

Angela Di Vincenzo – Vocals

Andy Menarini – Guitars

Sebastiano Dolzani – Drums

Nick Pedron – Bass

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