Death narrates the opening track of Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You and the ol’ Grim Reaper is the main character around which the LP is built. 

“Say goodbye to friends and family/you’re coming with me,” Billy/Death sings on “Like it or Not.” 

While resilience, remembrance, love, regret, faith and doubt also play essential roles across the album’s 12 tracks, death is omnipresent as Billy’s soothing voice embodies the Reaper to cast a dark shadow over neo-classical music created of strings, mandolin, keys, sax and female co-leads and backgrounds. 

“The adventure’s over,” Billy declares on “Behold! Be held!”

This is soothing music accompanied by occasionally comforting but often-unsettling lyrics that include Billy singing of the “end-of-times ballet” on “Bananas.” Yet, despite all the death and darkness, Keeping Secrets Will Destroy You is somehow uplifting, which makes Billy something of a miracle worker.