Secrets of the Moon

The German Black Metal scene is undoubtedly ruled by a select few, with the occult […]
By Erika Kuenstler
January 20, 2016
Secrets of the Moon - Sun album cover

The German Black Metal scene is undoubtedly ruled by a select few, with the occult band SECRETS OF THE MOON being one of the bands at the zenith of the underground scene. Following on from the very well received 2012 album "Seven Bells", the end of 2015 saw them back with their sixth full-length album, having been ironically been entitled "Sun", a concept that is perhaps the very antithesis of their own moniker. And this juxtaposition is also perfectly captured by the album artwork: a ball of nothingness that exudes smothering darkness from its core, not unlike SECRETS OF THE MOON's music.

Even in a genre where conformity is looked down upon, SECRETS OF THE MOON is a band that stands apart, obtaining an almost cult-like status in the process. The only thing one can reliably expect from this band is that they will take you in directions you could never have foreseen, and "Sun" is no exception to this.

"No More Colours" steadily creeps in, the battered wings of an acoustic guitar melody bringing in a despair-laden sound that explodes into distorted malevolence. The shouted vocals stand in stark contrast to fervent whispers, giving the music an air of pent up aggression and futility that settles on the mind like a shroud. "Dirty Black" on the other hand sounds like what David Bowie would have sounded like had he on a seriously dark trip. "Man Behind the Sun" sees a slower and more Psychedelic/Stoner feel coming to the fore, driving you into the pits of despondency laced with anguish so sublime it almost becomes sensual. "Hole" on the other hand delivers a dose of raw power that surges through your veins, searching out the darkest crevices of your mind. With a slow hypnotic build-up that gets more intense as it progresses to its climax, this song leads perfectly into "Here Lies the Sun", a faster and more tumultuous offering that twines around you in scintillating serpentine swirls of sound. The penultimate song, "I Took the Sky Away", tiptoes gently into being on the gentle strokes of a piano before shattering the atmosphere with an oppressive Doom melody that envelopes the listener in a suffocating blanket of darkness whilst the mesmerizing vocals drift through your fading consciousness. "Mark of Cain", the longest song on the album, ends off "Sun" in splendour. This song really takes its time in creating unsettling ebbs and flows that take the listener on one final journey through soundscapes woven from threads of nightmares.

Overall, "Sun" sees SECRETS OF THE MOON expanding their horizons and taking on a far more experimental vein. For those of you in looking for something dark, twisted, and ingenious, this is certainly an album I'd recommend. Granted, the vocal style used may be a bit jarring for first-time listeners, as it's something you totally wouldn't expect from a Black Metal band. At first it seems like a bit of an odd fit, but the more you listen to it, the more you realise that it wouldn't have worked any other way. With "Sun" SECRETS OF THE MOON have brought forth a shining gem for their discography, and I for one can't wait to catch them live!

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Sun" Track-listing:

1. No More Colours
2. Dirty Black
3. Man Behind the Sun
4. Hole
5. Here Lies the Sun
6. I Took the Sky Away
7. Mark of Cain

Secrets of the Moon Lineup:

sG - Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Keyboards
Ar - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Naamah Ash - Bass
Erebor - Drums

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