Secret Chiefs 3

Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws, Hurqalya [Armarillo]

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Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws, Hurqalya is the follow-up to the Secret Chiefs' excellent 1996 debut, First Grand Constitution and Bylaws. And like its predecessor, the music is a combination of Ennio Morricone movie scores, world music, experimental noise-rock, and heavy metal. But this musical mix is used in an extremely unorthodox and unpredictable way -- they don't play it safe by lumping all the similar styles together. For example, they'll follow up a beautiful guitar interlude (the album's opener, "The Rose Garden of Mystery") with a jarring surf-rocker ("Waves of Blood"), which will then lead to a reverb-drenched freakout ("Broken Glass Hearse"). But the real story on the sophomore effort by Secret Chiefs 3 is guitarist/leader Trey Spruance. In addition to guitar, he produced and engineered the album, filled in for missing bassist Trevor Dunn (still a member of the band), and wrote eight of the record's ten tracks. Due to the all-encompassing vision of Second Grand Constitution, it becomes obvious that a lot of work was put into it, and the end result is one of 1998's most rewarding, original, and ambitious recordings.

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