Revenge of the Phoenix
by Dagmar Patterson
Austin, Texas’ Secular End has put out a mostly exciting CD with Revenge of the Phoenix. Singer/Guitarist Daniel Artman (a.k.a Secular Dan) is writer and lyricist of the songs, and he is an excellent artist. The lyrics are clever and the songs highlight the band members’ roles wonderfully.
The opening, charming and catchy track, “All Good Sinners” introduces extravagant and solid bassist, Saint Theresa. Her vocals are also fantastic and blend well with those of Artman. A great start leads into more great guitar riff songs, “Machines Are Slowly Taking Over My Pulse” (I would call this the track of the CD), “No Place Like Home and Sweet Reaper.”
Midway through the CD things get bogged down a bit, but even these weaker songs feature compelling drumming by Ralph Barr. “Make Believe” picks up the pieces and “Wish You Were Here In Hades” and the awesome “Hey Judas” keep the momentum going. The final track wobbles, but is outweighed by what is so good about the CD; the appealing vocals, and the general sweetness and emotion. Secular End has a cool and dreamy quality that should attract a wide audience—especially considering the success of a markedly similar band, Great Britain’s the Subways.