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JFH Staff Review

What We Do In Secret, Repose

What We Do In Secret

Artist Info: Discography
Genre(s): Metalcore / Hardcore
Album length: 10 tracks: 29 minutes, 29 seconds
Street Date: November 22, 2019


For years, the story of What We Do In Secret was one of uncertainty. With only a couple of independent EPs to the band’s credit, they kept talking about an eventual full-length that never seemed to come to pass, while also maintaining a less-than-prominent social media presence that left fans wondering about the band's future. But you could hear a collective sigh of relief a few months ago when Facedown Records announced that they had signed WWDIS, and that the long-promised full-length album was not only on its way, but would be here before the year was up.

Repose is a ten-track album that introduces the band’s identity to the world while also fitting quite nicely and safely in its metalcore lane. Trace amounts of Wolves at the Gate (and even a little Empty) can be found in the way they mix the heavy and the melodic; great examples of this come in “918” and “Blackout.” WWDIS excels at effortlessly going from fast and furious to tempered and melodic and back again at the drop of a hat, trading Josh Adams’ somewhat rough scream for a much smoother clean singing. The opening track, “In Falling,” also introduces a sort of screamed spoken word sound. This element is sparingly utilized on Repose, but it does show up again in the title track, which presents a nice opportunity for a guest appearance by Silent Planet’s Garrett Russel, who fits in perfectly.

Something that “In Falling” does set a precedence for is the album’s theme. Adams says, “We’re sick and broken, we’ve all gone astray / lost in the darkness, depression has its way / but it’s all not hopeless, our suffering’s not unique / listen to the songs of the broken, I pray they give you peace.” The depravity of humanity meeting the mercy of Jesus is covered in varying ways, with an impressive lyrical style that, at times, overshadows the music itself. “Rebirth” is a darker song near the beginning of the album that deals almost exclusively with feeling lost and peaceless - with only a hint of redemption in a couple spots - but it can be very relatable to the band’s audience, and is at no point completely hopeless. “Shine : Lost” is a cry for humility, “Repose” mourns the loss of an unborn child, and “Silhouette” seems to deal with mental illness; WWDIS covers a lot of ground in such a short runtime. But the final track, “Vindication,” closes the album by reminding the listener of God’s goodness and promises through all of life’s miseries: “I’ve waited for the winds to change / for the scales to be tipped my way / but now I see that Your hand’s holding me / strung out on the things I could not escape / but You said I am free / You calmed the storm in me.”

It’s been a long road for What We Do In Secret, and it’s exciting to see that part of their journey comes with such great exposure and a new platform on which to share their struggles and faith. My initial reaction was that Repose was simply a decent album, but diving into the lyrics really helped to pull back the curtain and find the beauty in the whole package. This is one of Facedown’s best releases of 2019, so don’t sleep on it.

- Review date: 11/20/19, written by Scott Fryberger of

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. Record Label: Facedown Records
. Album length: 10 tracks: 29 minutes, 29 seconds
. Street Date: November 22, 2019
. Buy It: iTunes
. Buy It: AmazonMP3
. Buy It: MerchNow (CD/Vinyl)

  1. In Falling (0:18)
  2. 918 (3:06)
  3. Rebirth (3:34)
  4. Blackout (3:36)
  5. Shine: Lost (3:49)
  6. (Remain) (0:43)
  7. Repose (feat. Garrett Russell of Silent Planet) (3:29)
  8. Home (4:07)
  9. Silhouette (3:01)
  10. Vindication (3:45)
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