Few bands out there hit you like a clawhammer to the skull and then continue do so repeatedly with no regard for mercy or empathy until they're done with whatever's left of you.

Southern Lord’s The Secret make no excuses that this is anything but their sole intention on each and every occasion, either live or on record.

Born in Trieste, Italy in around 2003, The Secret are not the most prolific in terms of landing new recordings, but their efficiency in extremism has never been questioned. With a blackened crust aesthetic marrying breakneck, blasting grind rhythms and caustic, buzzing death riffs to Marco Coslovich's septic, earth-splintering roar, The Secret land somewhere between Dragged Into Sunlight and Mgla in a death-match between the bleak and the harrowed. It's not just about raw power and pace though, a subtle blend of layered guitars and syths adds to an atmosphere that's as uncomfortable as it is uncompromising on both the most recent full length Agnus Dei and the blistering Solve Et Coagula.

Music for the faint-hearted this is not, but gather around the candlelight and amp stacks shrouded in darkness deeper within Desertfest 2019 to discover one of extreme music's most talented of Secrets as they play their first UK show in 5 years.

Words: Pete Green