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Album Review
mike


Secret Chiefs 3: Traditionalists - Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
Web Of Mimicry
Produced by Trey Spruance
Recorded by Trey Spruance, William Winant, Kris Hendrickson, KT Pierce, Jason Schimmel, Jai Young Kim, and Randall Dunn
Mixed by Trey Spruance with assistance from Kurt Schlegel
Mastered by David Cheppa
2009

4 out of 5 mics

This is a well conceived album, displaying brilliant musicianship, written and recorded by a brilliant musician in Trey Spruance. You may know of his work with Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, and Faith No More (his guitar playing on their King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime album makes it one of their best).

I'm a big, big fan of Spruance's work. His creativity boggles the mind. He's a multi-instrumentalist - most of the instruments he plays are stringed instruments from around the world, the names of which I can hardly pronounce. He's an extremely talented producer and arranger. Check out any song from Mr. Bungle's California or Disco Volante albums for proof of this.

Secret Chiefs 3 is Spruances main creative outlet since Bungle's disbanding. He delved deaper into the extremes that Bungle was famous for - metal, Middle Eastern, surf, funk. The Middle Eastern leanings are quite apparent in all of his work with SC3. But on this album it is mainly a deep love and respect for film music in the styles of Ennio Morricone and Bernard Herrmann that comes through.

The album consists of one song which takes up two sides of an LP. It's not an easy undertaking to listen in one sitting, but it is very worthwhile. Listening to the album almost feels like watching a psychological thriller. It's very dark, moody, and tense. The album moves at the perfect pace to pull you in and have you anticipating its next direction.

The recording is pristine, yet rich, powerful and warm. Recorded in several different locations, but mixed down to tape by Spruance, the sound is consistent throughout. The mastering work is transparent and light-handed, allowing for great dynamic range, a hallmark of Spruance.