Hail The Sun’s ‘Secret Wars’ should not be a secret

Hail the Sun first formed in 2009. (Courtesy of Equal Vision Records)

Emily Toomey
Connector Editor

Hail The Sun just released a surprise five track EP titled “Secret Wars,” and it is no surprise that the best things in life are kept a secret. Their latest release is definitely their best to date, as they really have refined their sound. Each track features their familiar progressive style riffs while still managing to add a nice flare to their musical style. This record certainly shows a slightly softer side to the band the listener does not normally see, which is why it succeeded so well. Vocalist Donovan Melero toned down his harsh vocals to better showcase his incredible vocal range.

The first single to be released, “1109,” is one of the more diverse tracks on the EP. The lyrical aspect to the track provides a more emotional connection for the listener. The lyrics focus on the sentiment of a certain house. The beginning starts off with Melero softly singing, “I lived in a porch whose house collected cigarettes. And every one I’d smoke held conversations from the night before.”

His voice then is able to pick up drastically by the chorus. When he sings, “Now we’re all gone,” in the chorus highlights, he is demonstrating his ability to scream. His voice becomes intense, but only for a few seconds as he then tones right back down. The rest of the chorus remains slower to showcase the vocal range he has. The ending bridge takes the track to new heights. The riffs pick up drastically but his voice remains calm, ending the song with, “But I do here in the dry wall.”

The track “Bound” is definitely the best track on the EP. Melero’s voice remains calm throughout the track to match the softer tempo.  He starts off singing quietly, “Love won’t call like it used to.” There is something so raw and vulnerable about the softness to his voice. The second verse picks up slightly in his vocals when he sings, “Years don’t stall with the aftershock. Time feels rough, never meant to go this long.” The instrumentals in the last half of the track deliver something so satisfying to the listener as the tempo is able to pick up to something much catchier. The transition from slow to fast on this track sends the listener on an emotional, but wonderful, rollercoaster. The track ends when he sings, “Impatient youth,” over the faint but beautiful riffs. His voice almost sounds as though he is fading into the distance.

The middle track “Spite” is definitely a crowd pleaser. The track does not stray too much from Hail the Sun’s familiar roots, but ultimately provides something unique to the record. The chorus is where the track stands out the most. He starts off in a faint voice, singing, “Send all my memories back,” but then drastically changes his tempo to finish up the line with the lyrics, “With all the things I deserve.” The last minute of the track includes a 10 second break down of perfectly executed riffs that then follow with him singing, “I felt free.”

The lyrics perfectly aligned with the tempo of the riff and really portrayed the emotional connection beautifully. The instrumentals throughout the track have an intense vibe to match the angst in Melero’s voice throughout the lyrics. His voice on this track is both heavy but delicate, in a way that is unlike any other. His vocal range on the track is able to mesmerize the listener intensely.

Overall, the five tracks on this EP each have a different flair to the band’s familiar sound. Melero’s vocal range itself is on a rollercoaster of highs and lows to show the true talent he possesses. Each riff sounds different from the last to provide the five tracks a sense of the diversity among each other. The softness of the vocals and the harshness of the instrumentals allow the record to stand out as something so beautiful.   

Grade: A

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