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SECRET CHIEFS 3

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Secret Chiefs 3 biography
SECRET CHIEFS 3 is an Avant-Garde band led by Trey Spruance. Their style is influenced by oriental folklore and electronic music, fused with metal. Trey Spruance was also a member of MR. BUNGLE, and their songs Ars Moriendi and Desert Search for Techno Allah are a good example of the SECRET CHIEFS 3 style. Danny Heifetz also is a permanent member of both SECRET CHIEFS 3 and MR. BUNGLE.



Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
They are a very unique band, really unpredictable and incorporating many different styles. They are using a variety of traditional oriental instruments, juxtaposed with really modern electronic DJing. Add to that the metal influences, and the really innovative songwriting.



Discography:
First Grand Constitution and Bylaws (1996)
Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya (1998)
Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Flame (1998)
Book M (2001)
Book of Horizons (2004)

Secret Chiefs 3 official website

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Book of Souls: Folio aBook of Souls: Folio a
Web of Mimicry 2013
Audio CD$9.49
$8.10 (used)
Book of HorizonsBook of Horizons
Mimicry 2004
Audio CD$8.99
$5.58 (used)
PerichoresisPerichoresis
Web of Mimicry 2014
Audio CD$12.13
$12.12 (used)
Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi UominiLe Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
Mimicry 2009
Audio CD$11.89
$7.48 (used)
Book MBook M
Mimicry 2001
Audio CD$10.28
$0.29 (used)
First Grand Constitution & BylawsFirst Grand Constitution & Bylaws
Mimicry 2000
Audio CD$9.97
$7.83 (used)
Xaphan: The Book of Angels, Vol. 9Xaphan: The Book of Angels, Vol. 9
Tzadik 2008
Audio CD$11.86
$24.54 (used)
Second Grand Constitution & BylawsSecond Grand Constitution & Bylaws
Mimicry 2000
Audio CD$12.17
$9.06 (used)
Satellite Supersonic 1Satellite Supersonic 1
Mimicry 2010
Audio CD$85.15
$19.99 (used)
Eyes of Flesh Eyes of FlameEyes of Flesh Eyes of Flame
Mimicry 2007
Audio CD$10.47
$7.99 (used)
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SECRET CHIEFS 3 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

SECRET CHIEFS 3 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.85 | 23 ratings
First Grand Constitution and Bylaws
1996
3.95 | 25 ratings
Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya
1998
4.45 | 59 ratings
Book M
2001
4.07 | 73 ratings
Book of Horizons
2004
4.12 | 22 ratings
Book of Angels, Vol 9: Xaphan
2008
3.76 | 19 ratings
Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
2009
4.68 | 15 ratings
Book of Souls: Folio A
2013
4.00 | 3 ratings
Perichoresis (as Ishraqiyun)
2014

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.20 | 10 ratings
Eyes of Flesh, Eyes of Flame
1998

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 3 ratings
Live at the Great American Music Hall
2007

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 1 ratings
Path of Most Resistance
2007
3.00 | 4 ratings
Satellite Supersonic Vol.1
2010

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

SECRET CHIEFS 3 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Book of Souls: Folio A by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.68 | 15 ratings

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Book of Souls: Folio A
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars You have to be a dedicated fan to follow the works of Trey Spruance and his ever eclectic SECRET CHIEFS 3 project which in 2007 official revealed itself to be the amalgamation of seven satellite bands (The Electromagnetic Azoth, UR, Ishraqiyun, Traditionalists, Holy Vehm, FORMS, and NT Fan) but i am one of those hardcore fans so i relish the release of every album no matter which one of these satellite bands appears in the title along with some often the case unpronounceable title. For this pronounceable one BOOK OF SOULS: FOLIO A (Yes, this did come out before the 2015 Iron Maiden album of the same title), the seventh official album by SC3 we actually get more of a compilation album that features two tracks from all of these satellite bands except Holy Vehm and NT Fan. Some of these tracks are remade, some had been played live before release and some are totally new, however it is the perfect flow from beginning to end that makes this one of my favorite SC3 releases.

What this compilation business basically means is an even more eclectic album than usual for Mr Spruance and company for despite every track clearly sounding like SC3 in full regalia, the emphasis on different aspects of Spruance's musical palette shines through making a rather nice flow of musical ideas from beginning to end which include all the usual SC3 suspects such as surf rock, Persian and Arab folk, metal, soundtrack and electronic music as well as some other ideas ranging from tango to the usual Rock In Opposition and Avant Prog and classical angular rhythms always on display. There are 11 musicians on board with this one hosting instruments that include guitar, bass, drums, bassoon, oboe, english horn, flute, cello, contrabass, various ethnic percussion, harp, violin, viola and a surprise cameo vocal appearance on "La Chanson de Jacky" by Spruance's long time partner in crime Mike Patton from Mr. Bungle and Faith No More.

BOOK OF SOULS: FOLIO A is actually a collection of tracks that took over a decade to create and really delves into the extreme musical possibilities of all the types of music involved in its depths. For example, the Arabic and Persian influences are something that should have emerged from those respective cultures but SC3 seems to have found a knack for reinventing traditional musics from around the world by mixing and melding with the best production techniques showcasing every little detail into a glorious organic and powerful musical experience. There is literally no one who sounds like this band and BOOK OF SOULS: FOLIO A is a very nice de luxe and diverse offering of all the different ways Spruance has evolved this band into a musical octopus leaving no influential rock unturned.

All i can say is that this album is brilliant. It reflects the painstaking process and perfectionist tendencies of Trey Spruance over a decade time span leaving no t's uncrossed and no i's undotted. Everything about this album is perfect for my ears. The production is top-notch state of the art incredible and the music resides in some mysterious parallel universe that feels somewhat familiar but equally as alien as if it has been beamed across the cosmos from Alpha Centauri. While the musical scales that incorporate the various ethnic and Western influences are clearly recognizable, SC3 continues their abilities to weave this new musical tapestry into an ever more complex quiltage of sonic possibilities and delivers a successful outcome every time. This is the album where i started visualizing SC3's music as a giant musical sand worm wriggling about like the one on the movie "Dune" that makes its way around through the sandy deserts and with each move retains enough familiar vibrations to always be identifiable as the source but with each new wriggling displays a new variation in as many ways as chemical elements can combine to create more complex molecules. Music is a sort of sonic chemistry and Spruance really has mastered this alchemy of sound.

This album is almost exclusively instrumental as are most SC3 albums and while this Dune worm wriggles from one avant-garde angular rhythm to another throughout the album there does lurk one major surprise when suddenly the listener is slapped in the face by the most unlikely type of track they could encounter. When the listener gets to the eleventh track the sudden burst of a Jacques Brel cover "La Chanson de Jacky" with Mike Patton making a cameo is a true shock as if Barry Manilow came out and played "Copacabana" at a death metal concert, yet somehow, in some way, it all works but it is true that anyone who enjoys SC3 albums are already of an eclectic nature so after the initial WTF wears off it's all just par for the course of this experimental band that never fails to surprise. This is one of my absolute favorite albums of the so-called "satellite band" years and i can listen to this one over and over and over again in total admiration of how it all just flows from one track to the next. It should be mentioned that odd numbered tracks are the long fully developed tracks while the even ones are short little fluffers if you will for the following numbers. With music this complex, yet catchy and ever so captivating every time i listen to it always having my mind blown, i can give this glimpse of heaven no less than 5 stars.

 Book M by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.45 | 59 ratings

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Book M
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by LearsFool
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars "Book M" is just one of the all time greatest avant-prog albums. On it Secret Chiefs 3 serves up a meal that was made by just plain smashing through barriers, mixing genres in ways that were before unheard of. Traditional Middle Eastern, electronica, heavy prog rock, prog metal, and even resemblances to heavy hip hop and dancehall beats, all of these take turns blowing your mind. The music is manic, fast, and complex, putting your friend's tech death garage band to shame. And it is all masterfully constructed and played. The result is an album that never lets up until the band just runs out of ideas, and then knows to pull out their preprepared grand finale. Listening to this record is like putting yourself in the middle of the crock pot the band used to cook up this delicious magnum opus, this soup of genres and styles and inspiration. It's hot, it's spicy, and it is wonderful. Try dancing to it! At the least, do yourself a massive favour and try this homecooked masterpiece. You won't regret it. You may yet even play it on repeat all day.
 Book of Horizons by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.07 | 73 ratings

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Book of Horizons
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Your manuscript is both good and original,.... But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good."- "attributed, not found.". And neither daring nor fun. Completely, pretentious and BORING. I suppose, that when you ask this band followers about Ennio Morricone or even better John Williams, the will laugh at you mockingly, IF, they have some idea, who these guys are... Indo-Tabla music, mish-mashed alongside some other "exotic" folkloric style with severe touches of "serious-music", like Mr. Morricone's sountracks?, without the movie, but with the same smell of "corn". Or like the one, that here in Mexico is known as the "Juan Torres organ Sound". Which was a guy overblown by the media, because here in Mexico, IN THOSE TIMES, was the only guy, who owned a Wurllitzer organ with a drum-box . That was it, his only talent. Some talent-less, overrated "artist". ...So, if you are really impressed, by these "exotic" languages, immersed in an over-abuse of the systematic RIO-cliches (abrupt change of time signatures, stridency, etc) with no kind of humor at all, (it is not a parody), well you will fall head over heels for this album....IF you, when listening, open-mindedly to music, which "plays" with your knowledge of music in general, and is performed with a pompous, unimaginative, pseudo classical music composition grandeure, so solemnly, with such self-indulgence, AND you still have time to enjoy, well this is also for you. . I mean, these guys take themselves so seriously, without real facts or proof. The only group that will serve my example is Henry Cow, the best parts of "Secret Chiefs3" owe and resemble this band. When HENRY COW, surfaced, it was and had to do with the moment in time world-wide. A natural musical process was evolving, as in the modern-classical compositions, "Cacophony" became a way to rebel against standarized Central-European impossitive canons in structure and importance. Nowadays, these"new-canons" are as impossitive as the ones they rebelled against, a fad, a passing "FAD".... Like a super-pretentious Henry Cow, and that is saying too much. **2.5 "what a disappointment" PA stars. Not essential , unless you own, 3 cds and are stranded in a non "exotic" place.
 Book of Horizons by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.07 | 73 ratings

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Book of Horizons
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by zedumar

5 stars Only 44 ratings and 8 reviews???

The book of Horizons by Secret Chiefs 3 is a great example of a forgotten album in PROGARCHIVES!

I recently discovered the band, even being a Faith No More and Tomahawk fan. The band is conducted by Trey Spruance, a former Faith no More member, although Secret Chiefs 3 is a completely different band and concept.

The album is not easy listening stuff. it took me several trials to understand what is going on... sou you ask me: What is going on here? I can't say , but it is sure amazing stuff!!!

This album is the definition of AVANT-GARDE itself! Almost 10 years from the release and it still sounds as the newest music effort ever. The album is so complex, so diverse, innovative and beatiful that I can only highly reccomend to all open ears prog listeners

5 stars

 Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.76 | 19 ratings

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Le Mani Destre Recise Degli Ultimi Uomini
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The special thing about this Secret Chiefs 3 album is that it isn't really a Secret Chiefs 3 album - rather, it's an album fully recorded by one of the several different "satellite" bands which together form Secret Chiefs 3. Specifically, it's the work of the Traditionalists, an outfit designed to pay tribute to the musicians providing great music for Italian horror and thriller B-movies of the 1970s - and yes, that includes a few nods to the funkier side of Goblin, but it also includes nods to Ennio Morricone and still other composers besides. Presented as the soundtrack to a film which doesn't exist, there's no vocals provided so when it comes to sussing out the plot of Le Mani... (whose title reminds me a little of an Italian take on Manos: the Hands of Fate!) we're left to consider the packaging, booklet and song titles - and, of course, the music itself, which is as perfect a tribute to the era as you are likely to find.
 Book of Angels, Vol 9: Xaphan by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2008
4.12 | 22 ratings

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Book of Angels, Vol 9: Xaphan
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This isn't the first time Trey Spruance and John Zorn's musical trajectories have crossed - Zorn did in fact help produce the first Mr Bungle album - but this is surely their most intimate collaboration. Xaphan finds Secret Chiefs 3 turning their hands to adapting music from Zorn's Masada books of klezmer-derived compositions; this is, in fact, a conjunction of musical forces which makes perfect sense, since klezmer is one of the musical traditions Secret Chiefs 3 has dabbled with in previous albums. The band's technical abilities and diverse instrumentation ensures that the album distinctly sounds like them, whilst Zorn's compositions provide sufficiently meaty challenges for them to get their teeth into.

Because the compositions are all klezmer-based, Secret Chiefs 3 don't get to branch out into quite as many different musical styles as they do on their other albums, though I'm sure some listeners will consider this to be a good thing: what it lacks in diversity, Xaphan more than makes up for in consistency.

 Book of Horizons by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.07 | 73 ratings

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Book of Horizons
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by frippism
Collaborator RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team

5 stars Welllllllllllllll

This is, essentially, my absolute most favorite SC3 album- and that's saying something. SC3, for those who don't know, are project of weirdo/bearded Californian genius Trey Spruance. They have a bizarre combination of oriental music and instrumentation, with electronica, surf rock, death metal, and anything else really.

This album here, "Book Of Horizons", in my opinion, really has Secret Chiefs 3 taking a bit from here and a bit from there, and meshing it in ultimate way. No album, can produce beautiful, epic compositions like "The Exile", and at the same time, have two of the greatest death metal songs I have ever heard, particularly with "Hypostasis of the Archons". The band don't only display variety, but also near-perfect song-writing. Additionally, no album does ambient and thick instrumental compositions like SC3 did on this album.

So yeah. Best album of the 21st century and one of the greatest ever? Hmmm. Yeah pretty much.

This is the first album Spruance has done with the idea of the "satellite bands"- seven different bands all under one banner. All different and interesting- yet strongly unified by Spruance's unforgettable songwriting. This man is such a genius it makes me pissy. The dude just knows how to write tunes! Strange tunes, beautiful tunes, epic tunes, dissonant tunes, he can just do it, and he has the right musicians to do it. Guys like Ches Smith (drummer awesome), and Eyvind Kang (one of my favorite composers), along with a million billion absolutely brilliant musicians who pretty much play every note as right as humanly possible. I honestly wouldn't change a thing about the musicians- they just deliver the tunes the way they should be.

May I just add, again, that "Hypostasis of the Archons", is the greatest metal song I've heard in my life. Jumping over from manic guitars and screams and godly drums over and over and over. I just want to nuke Antarctica when I listen to this cutie pie.

I'm sorry, not much more to add. Listen to this album.

All hail SC3

 Book of Horizons by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.07 | 73 ratings

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Book of Horizons
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Book of Horizons is an important album in the Secret Chiefs 3 discography because it was the first one to overtly set out the idea of the "satellite bands" - the concept that Secret Chiefs 3 was actually a collective of bands who happen to all be led by Trey Spruance, and that explains the very different musical styles involved. Whether that was really the concept from the start or something Trey cooked up on the spot is another question, but either way Book of Horizons is another dazzlingly diverse album from this avant-garde powerhouse running the full range from rock reinterpretations of traditional Middle Eastern music to pounding death metal to progressive passages reminiscent of Goblin's classic horror soundtracks.
 Book M by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.45 | 59 ratings

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Book M
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Whereas the previous albums by Secret Chiefs 3 - the two Grand Constitution and Bylaws albums - had roved all over the musical map, Book M seems to be a much more cohesive piece - possibly due to Mr Bungle's demise (or, at least, long-term hiatus) forcing Trey Spruance to think of the Secret Chiefs as his main project rather than a sideshow. This time around, the band focus on merging the Middle Eastern and ambient electronic dance music aspects of their sound, creating a curious blend of the very traditional and very modern.

Such a mixture of different elements of the band's music is, of course, in keeping with the alchemical themes of the album, though it would take an esotericist who had carefully studied all the books Spruance has read to figure out what he's on about here; the important thing is that this album shows an important maturation in the sound of Secret Chiefs 3 and is the best of their first three releases.

 Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya by SECRET CHIEFS 3 album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.95 | 25 ratings

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Second Grand Constitution and Bylaws: Hurqalya
Secret Chiefs 3 RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The second album from Trey Spruance's mysterious and esoteric Secret Chiefs 3 project follows a similarly diverse trajectory as the first, taking in musical genres from classic movie soundtracks to traditional Middle Eastern music to thumping drum and bass dance music and everything in between. Although the schtick is still more or less the same as it was on First Grand Constitution and Bylaws - and, for that matter, the instrumental sections of Mr Bungle's Disco Volante - Spruance seems more than happy to keep doing what he does, and the music presented here is diverse enough that it certainly never gets boring.
Thanks to MikeEnRegalia for the artist addition.

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