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Secret Chiefs 3


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Secret Chiefs 3 First Grand Constitution And Bylaws album cover
3.85 | 24 ratings | 3 reviews | 4% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Ana'l Haqq (0:22)
2. Adept Chamber Of The Magian Tavern ? Altar To The Master Chief (1:11)
3. Inn Of 3 Doors (1:22)
4. Breeze Of Dawn, Death's Angel (2:19)
5. Assassin's Blade (4:37)
6. Bare-faced Bazi (2:05)
7. Crossroads Through Crosshairs (2:21)
8. Borderland (1:21)
9. Borderland (2:04)
10. Killing Of Kings (3:31)
11. Celestial Ship Of The Corsairs- (2:13)
- Emir Of The Bees :
12. Migration (1:18) *
13. Countersurveillance (1:10) *
14. The Mazdaean Protocols (1:37) *
15. Our Man Abu'l-Khattab (1:10) *
16. Return (0:53) *
17. Pointed And Weighty Arguments (0:19)
18. Zulkifar (1:15)
19. The Qa'im Deliberates (1:15)
20. Drunk At The Gates (2:08)
21. Resurrection Day Soundtrack: Hot Pursuit In Eagles' Nest (5:05)
22. From Night The Morning Draught Of Wine (2:28)
23. Crosswinds (0:32)
24. Borderland (2:31)
25. White As They Come (8:04)

* Bonus tracks on 2000 CD reissue

Total time 53:11

Line-up / Musicians

- Trey Spruance / guitar, organ, synth, sampler, electronics, bass (5,21), vocals (10,25), producer
- Trevor Dunn / bass, vocals (6,19,20)
- Danny Heifetz / drums, percussion, trombone

- Bar McKinnon / sax (21), bass (22)
- Kris Hendrickson / backing vocals (25)

Releases information

Artwork: Mari Kono

CD Amarillo Records ‎- ACM-603 (1996, US)
CD Web Of Mimicry ‎- WoM 003 (2000, US) Remastered with 5 bonus tracks

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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SECRET CHIEFS 3 First Grand Constitution And Bylaws ratings distribution

(24 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (8%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SECRET CHIEFS 3 First Grand Constitution And Bylaws reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FruMp
4 stars A very eclectic album from Spruance, Heifetz and co.

SECRET CHIEFS 3 is part of the massive growing multiverse of music from the members of carnival freak band MR. BUNGLE (of whom the most notable is Mike Patton of FANTOMAS and PEEPING TOM) in this case consisting of Trey Spruance primarily on guitar and Danny Heifetz on Drums and percussion. The music here is certainly not for the faint hearted, it's quite similar to MR BUNGLE except it's a lot more sparse and has a prevailing middle-eastern theme to it - but it's still just as out there as anything bungle ever did, gallivanting from one genre to the next without a care and often without warning.

The instrumentation is quite varied on this album as you could probably deduce from the amount of instruments listed in the band member credits but it's actually quite hard to pick them out, it's quite hard to pick out anything really and so the most kudos must certainly go to the production, it's very varied due to the amazing variation in styles and genres from ethnic percussion to disco.

It's actually quite hard to pick out highlight tracks as they are so eclectic and it's hard to tell where the start and end most of the time and because they are so varied in and within themselves. The satirical 'Killing of the Kings' is great with lyrics like "Rock and roll is a thing that needs to die", 'Emir of the bees' has a lot of highlights notably the middle eastern techno that was featured in songs like 'Desert search for techno Allah', 'White as they come' is a very strong ending with some fairly psychedelic disco (what?), poking fun at the musical tastes of middle aged white people.

First Grand Constitution and Bylaws is an acquired taste and certainly not for everyone but is none the less a great album, fans of the more eclectic MR BUNGLE and FANTOMAS will certainly enjoy.

Review by zravkapt
4 stars Secret Chiefs 3 were originally formed in the mid-1990s by three members of Mr. Bungle. Bassist Trevor Dunn would later leave the group. Guitarist Trey Spruance and drummer Danny Heifetz stayed. SC3 is Spruance's band first and foremost. Trey was very busy at this time, being a member of and recording/touring with Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and Secret Chiefs 3...all at the same time. He would leave FNM and make one more album with Bungle before concentrating solely on SC3.

This is the groups first album, and can sometimes sound similar to Bungle's Disco Volante album. Particularly the middle-eastern and electronic influences. Spruance wrote most of the music on DV, so it shouldn't be a surprise to hear a resemblance. The sound of SC3 is very diverse and includes elements of death metal, surf rock, jazz, film music, techno, Latin, Middle-Eastern, electronic and avant-garde. Like Bungle, there is a variety of different instruments used. The music is just as unpredictable and crazy as Bungle's, sometimes more so. Ideas come and go so quick, you have to listen to this several times to understand what's going on.

The latest CD versions have the track "Emir Of The Bees" stuck in the middle. I have an older CD version without that song, which I have never heard. There are three songs here all called "borderland"; they all feature the members screwing around in the studio, making noises and altering sounds. Very avant-garde and but also very filler. The album begins with "Ana'l Raqq", which is just some great 1950s/60s sounding organ. "Breeze Of Dawn, Death's Angel" begins avant death metal, then gets jazzy with atmospheric keyboards. Goes classical before ending in cacophony. "Assassin's Blade" is almost tango or something similar. Great melodies in this song. I like how the guitar and bells play in unison. Piano is the prominent instrument.

"Bare-faced Bazi" starts mellow with vibes and wind chimes before it turns into a punk song. The vocals sound like Jello Biafra. I like the oddball yelling. Later the music changes to the vocals and drums playing together, going "fa-fa-la-de-do-da". "Crossroads Through Crosshairs" has harpsichord or something similar opening. Then a bunch of random avant- noise before you hear some electronic percussion similar to Can. Then the song goes full- blown techno. Later goes into some kind of Latin jazz with good organ. "Killing Of Kings" sounds like a parody of a typical '90s 'alternative' song. At one point the music stops and you hear lighters and matches and guys yelling "fire!" Halfway almost sounds like Neil Young. I like the distortion added to the word "die" in the lyric "rock'n'roll is a thing that needs to DIE!"

"Zulkifer" is more tango-like music, but now mixed with middle-eastern music. "Resurrection Day Soundtrack: Hot Pursuit In The Eagles' Nest" opens with compressed drums at a low volume. Then louder drums play an almost funky beat and synths drone. More synth sounds. Bass comes in. After a drum fill some distorted guitar. Later a sax solo. I love the bass synth sounds in this song. "Crosswinds" is some church organ before "White As They Come" starts. This last song is industrial disco. A steady beat and synth bassline lay the foundation for some subdued guitar soloing. Distorted vocals that go back and forth in the stereo spectrum. The 'chorus' has a disco beat, some distorted guitar sounds and what sounds like female vocals. Later the bass synths do a call and response thing while still keeping the bassline. All kinds of oddball noises coming and going. A repeated guitar line plays till it gets drowned out by noisy sounds. You hear someone say "happy ending" at the end.

A great first album from these guys. In the future, their sound will get more middle-eastern and metal influenced. This will appeal to those who love Bungle in general, and Disco Volante in particular. The most noisy and avant parts here are almost pointless; they don't stand up on repeated listenings. But the actual composed parts are very good generally. Very good sound and performance. A great prog release from the 1990s. 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Trey Spruance's major project within the extended Mr Bungle family of side projects features about as diverse a range of sounds as you could ever expect to find. Later in their career, Secret Chiefs 3 would put about the idea that they were actually a collection of 7 different bands which happened to have Trey in common with completely different sounds, all putting out songs on the same album.

Well, if that's true then the different bands keep treading on each other's feet this time around, because within individual compositions you can go from alt-rock reimaginings of traditional Middle Eastern music to a film soundtrack to Zappaesque tape experiments to death metal screaming without warning. Anyone who digs Mr Bungle's Disco Volante and wonders what a mostly-instrumental take on the same concept would sound like could do a lot worse than refer to the Chiefs.

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