Rather than create their own unique brand of neo-classical Power Metal, PLATITUDE unfortunately bring nothing new to this already overcrowded genre. However, all is not lost, as "Secrets Of Life" still manages to demonstrate that this band is capable of creating infectious songs full of catchy choruses, and speedy keyboard licks. With members ranging in age from 16-21, PLATITUDE handle this style of metal like seasoned professionals on this debut release.
While many Power Metal bands take after the likes of HAMMERFALL and RHAPSODY in their lyrical content and compositions, PLATITUDE fortunately do no such thing. Though this is an encouraging fact, their resemblance to a band like SONATA ARCTICA is difficult to ignore. All resemblances aside, PLATITUDE do succeed in creating some very catchy songs that are bound to get noticed by many power metal fans looking for just that.
The album starts off with the catchy "Deception", which is then followed by the equally catchy "Just One Try". By the time "Dance Thru Fire" starts, the fundamental problem with these generic power metal releases becomes apparent: there is little to no variation between songs. The only noticeable variation on this album is the power ballad "Memories", which slows down the pace in comparison to the rest of the album. Unfortunately, this is the only real variation found on "Secrets Of Life". Though the technical skill demonstrated by PLATITUDE is easily up to current Power Metal standards, I cannot help but think that this band is more than capable of bringing something new to the table. While the fact that they utilize two keyboardists does seem to set them somewhat apart, this will not be enough to get them any more attention than the rest of the STRATOVARIOUS clones out there.
While "Secrets Of Life" is bound to please fans of the genre looking for a band-of-the-week, those in need of a refreshing release will most likely be disappointed. If you want a clear indication of what the future of Power Metal looks like, check out LOST HORIZONís new album because "Secrets Of Life" will not succeed in giving you any such indication. PLATITUDE have potential for much more, but only time will tell if this potential is ever realized. (Online February 26, 2004)