Arma Secreta – A Century’s Remains (CD)

Arma Secreta play a brand of emo music that is not tied to the current styles of the genre as much as it is tied to acts like Sunny Day Real Estate. The disc opens up with “Segue/Debris”, a track that actually showcases Arma Secreta’s musical skills instead of trying to converge with all of the big-name acts. While “Debris” has a sound to it that is harder than what Sunny Day would typically cut, another comparison becomes understandable at this juncture. That’s right, Arma Secreta also has hints of both Fugazi and At the Drive-In present. “Sweater Weather” is a much more sedate track that again allows listeners to feel the emotive headiness created by Arma Secreta. This track is nearly four minutes, long enough to fully expand upon Arma Secreta’s thoughts and feelings. The band does everything that they can during the fifty-plus minutes of “A Century’s Remains”; this is not the band trying to rehash tracks until they find a combination that will get them heavy play on Fuse.

Another difference between Arma Secreta and the rest of emo bands on the market has to be the lack of attention given to the vocals on “A Century’s Remains”. Sure, the band does have vocals but they are not the focal point of each and every track on the disc. None of the tracks will catapult Arma Secreta to a Panic at the Disco-type of fame, but the solid nature of this disc easily equals that provided by emo royalty like The Appleseed Cast and Desert City Soundtrack.

The compositions on “A Century’s Remains” are thoughtful enough that the disc can be looped and individuals will still be trying to decipher all of what Arma Secreta laid down on this disc. Arma Secreta should transport listeners back to the halcyon days of the mid to late nineties when the emo genre had yet to have its name sullied by all the punk rock boy-bands that are all plastered in famous magazines and television shows in the current. Songs like “A Good Clean Sweat” further raise the stock of Arma Secreta in my eyes, as the instrumental allows Arma Secreta to shine and succeed in a style that is not an easy one to succeed in. I’d like to hear more of Arma Secreta in the near future; this disc has a number of listens but I’d like to see how they refine and expand upon the style of theirs on this album.

Top Tracks: A Good Clean Sweat, Turin Style

Rating: 6.5/10

[JMcQ]

Arma Secreta – A Century’s Remains / 10 Tracks / http://www.rthmtc.com / http://www.smithseven.com / Reviewed 21 July 2006

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