• 7/10
    FRANCESCO FARERI - Secrets Within - 7/10


Lion Music
Release date: March 23, 2007

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Italian guitar shredder (that’s shredder spelled “b-l-a-z-i-n-g-l-y-f-a-s-t”) Francesco Fareri is back with his third solo guitar instrumental album (his second for Lion Music). Secrets Within is the follow-up to 2005’s impressive Forbidden Dimension shred release. Now that Francesco has gotten the world’s attention with Forbidden Dimension, he’s decided to go out on a limb of sorts and try something, how can you say — “slightly … different.”

Francesco has expanded his horizons a bit on this new release by playing some keyboards as well as his guitars, while taking a different approach to the overall songwriting. Secrets Within is divided up into two contrasting “movements;” one being heavy and one being acoustic. It’s a daring and admirable endeavor, but will it end up costing Fareri some CD sales and perhaps a fan or two? One thing Francesco kept nearly intact was his supporting band and guest players, which once again sees Vitalij Kuprij and Bob Katsionis making some cameo appearances on keyboards and piano.

Into The Dark Line

Movement One is subtitled “Into The Dark Line” and is more of the Shred and Progressive Metal music that Fareri fans have come to expect. These songs are similar to those found on Forbidden Dimension, but at the same time exude a certain maturity. Francesco’s songwriting this time around has taken melody more into account without forsaking speed. Overall, it seems that the stops, pauses, and tempo shifts are more meaningful in the context of the songs. Keyboards also tend to play a bigger part in the story telling in this movement. While they appear often, they are varied in effect and their lines are kept to the point. Overall, they tend to add “color” more so than “taking over,” until the Kuprij solos, of course (and rightfully so).

Out Of The Dark Line

Movement two is subtitled “Out Of The Dark Line” and is acoustic guitar and piano driven. Things really unwind and slow up at this point (track ten of fifteen), and, at times, the music almost seems fit for fans of New Age. Only artistic lovers and die hardest of Fareri fans will make it through this movement. It’s not that it’s “awful” music, as there are actually some very nice sullen speed moments throughout, particularly the bass lines in “Undefined.” The fact of the matter is that Fareri was in a completely different mindset and mood for this second movement. At times, you’ll check the volume to make sure your CD player didn’t blow a fuse, as the music is that quiet at times. Of the two movements, the “Into” phase does take up a greater portion of the album’s total running time.

Bottom Line

Francesco should be applauded for daring to step out of his comfort zone by broadening his own musical creativity. Overall, on Secrets Within he has shown a developing maturity that proves to the world, and betrays the “secret,” that he’s not all about speed, but he is indeed capable of writing very artistic and moving material. If you know what you’re getting yourself into with this album and keep an open mind for tracks ten through fifteen, then by all means it’s worth a buy. Deep down, though, most fans will wonder why this one wasn’t split into two releases targeted at two different listener bases with the “Out Of” movement perhaps released as a Francesco Fareri “Unplugged” release.

NOTE: The retail version is purported to contain bonus material in photos, transcriptions, videos, a diary of the making of Secrets Within, and much more. Metal Express Radio did not have access to this material for this review.


Franscesco Fareri – Guitars, Keyboards
Kyle Honea – Bass
Lucrezio de Seta – Drums

Guest Players:
Vitalij Kuprij – Keyboards, Piano
Bob Katsionis – Keyboards


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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