Published on December 1st, 2022

Secrets courtesy Velocity Records

Secrets are a post-hardcore and metalcore band from San Diego, formed in 2010, with the distinction of getting “extreme” — their word — music on to the Billboard 200, a chart feat not often achieved by bands of their stripe.

But I don’t know if we should trust these guys. Are they keeping secrets? What kind? Secrets amongst friends are bad — secrets want to be told. They must be told! To keep one is to have the weight of the world on your chest. What are they up to, these secretive fellas? Because hoarding information is rarely a good sign.

Here’s what we do know: Secrets have experienced enough turnover across five albums to require a spreadsheet to make sense of it all. It’s like an undercover operation that presents music as its public face while on missions to retrieve things, and each outing requires new personnel. That may lean a little heavy into conspiracy, but the pieces fit.

Secrets fifth and latest LP, “The Collapse,” on Velocity Records, consists of pre-pandemic and mid-pandemic material addressing the full circuit of “anxiety, depression, addiction, loss and hope,” to quote the band. “We wrote this album in one of the most confusing times we’ve ever experienced,” they explain, “but we believe that the best art comes from times of struggle and this collection of songs proves that.”

The closing track, “Fade Away,” mourns singer Aaron Melzer, a bandmate in 2013-2015 who passed away in 2020. It’s a powerful reminder that band relationships are among the closest a person can have. Being a working band is hard. Time on the road can take its toll. Add external relationships and other competing needs that complicate music-making, and troubles often follow.

So perhaps Secrets are being radically transparent, sharing the joy of playing music with as many like-minded individuals as possible while the opportunity is there. They aren’t keeping secrets; they are the secret. Theirs is the longevity found in durable relationships. Tell us more — maybe don’t keep that a secret!

Secrets with Palisades and Archetypes Collide play 6pm Wednesday, Dec. 7 at Respectable Street in West Palm Beach. ~ Tim Moffatt