Affiance No Secret Revealed

by Trevor Portz
Staff Writer

For those unfortunate enough to see the film Multiplicity, you may recall that when Michael Keaton cloned himself, each successive clone turned out more and more…well…stupid. As with any metal subgenre that emerges and catches on, it becomes inevitable that millions of clone bands will start to appear, and in a similar fashion, the clones often become more generic, less interesting, and, frankly, stupid. Metalcore has suffered this fate on a global scale due to the seemingly endless number of bands cropping up with the urge to sound (and look) like any number of others, and distinguishing between bands can be virtually impossible. Cleveland’s Affiance is a band that more or less fits this description, yet somehow has managed to create an album that is not only listenable, but actually reasonably good. While it doesn’t break any ground, No Secret Revealed is of high-enough quality to at least keep itself from being a total throwaway.

The songs that make up No Secret Revealed are generally high-energy metal romps, with a fair bit of groove thrown in (not entirely unreminiscent of later period Sepultura, groove-wise). What the band absolutely excels at, however, is writing with the mindset that one riff/tempo/groove is not enough to create an interesting song. The tracks feature plenty of tempo and riff changes, which help keep everything moving along and this, in turn, saves the album from being a boring blur.

Technically speaking, No Secret Revealed is tight and well performed. It may not be Dream Theater in terms of over-the-top technicality, but the band members are extremely proficient at what they play, which is far from two-note nu-metal. Now, to be fair, many bands are made to sound great via a few clicks of a mouse and some Pro Tools wizardry, but to stay optimistic, we’ll assume that the fixing was minimal.

On the less positive side, vocalist Dennis Tvrdik, while technically a talented singer (who relies almost entirely on clean vocals, a rarity in metalcore), has a whine that takes away from the overall intensity of the album. The songs race along, packed with vitality and anger, yet the vocals always seem two seconds away from becoming little more than a cowering figure wailing out “please don’t hurt me.”

Lyrically, things are also a bit silly, with “Der Fuhrer” leading the pack. Other than Mel Gibson, the world knows—and still feels the pain–of the atrocities committed by Hitler and the Nazis; of that there is no question. The statements made here, however, provide no new insight, and instead feel like little more than a mid-grade history report on World War II. They come across as a forced effort to sound intelligent or political (as do many songs here), and ultimately come off as juvenile.

Now, whiney vocals aside, No Secret Revealed, on the whole, is a decent enough record. It would be ridiculous to call it a masterwork of metal genius, as it does fit a little too perfectly into the sea of metalcore banality. However, the members of Affiance and just good enough at what they do—both writing and playing—that with a little creativity, they could break away from the scene and become something more memorable. Perhaps on their next album, secrets will be revealed, the first of which will be that they have more to offer than many of their peers.

Genre: Metalcore

Dennis Tvrdik (v)
Brett Wondrak (g)
Dominic Dickinson (g)
Erik Kemme (b)
Bradley Newshutz (d)

Track Listing:
Mad As Hell
Call To The Warrior
Nostra Culpa
For Power
A Monster Fed
The Hive
A Reading From The Book Of…
Der Fuhrer
Calculate and Control

Label: Bullet Tooth


Hardrock Haven rating: 4.8/10

2 Comments on Affiance No Secret Revealed

  1. In short, I think they deserve a much better review than this, and you got the names of their drummer and bassist wrong.

    Cameron Keeter (b)
    Patrick Galante (d)

  2. I agree with Lisa. Though the vocals are somewhat “whiney” in a sense, he has talent in that he can hit such high notes, and not sound like a woman. His vocal range is great, and very rare.

    I do agree that they rely a little too much on clean vocals, I would love to hear more screaming than they have used on this record.

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