Released: 2012, Lupus Lounge/Prophecy
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Germany - despite playing an early role in the formation of the genre, Absurd, Bethlehem, et al - has been pretty stagnate in more recent years. Luckily Secrets of the Moon have awoken their nation from their slumber with their fifth unholy offering. Having ditched breakneck speeds they instead invest in a mid-tempo, darker, and dare I say it catchier sound.
Opening track Seven Bells comes as close to sing-a-long as Black Metal can, but they still hold tight to their necro credentials, whilst at other times they touch on gothic-era Paradise Lost, tracks such as Nyx showcase the full depths of the bands talents. From climbing, ethereal passages to its dank, gloomy riffs –the tone of the album is clear and it is obvious where Tom G Warrior’s producing has permeated into their sound.
Secrets of the Moon explore the entire scope of Black Metal without spreading themselves too thin – guest appearances from Schwadorf (Empyrium), Kvohst (DHG, Code) and Morten Gass (Bohren & der Club of Gore) pay testament to that - but everything is tied together so closely the passage from one part to another flows seamlessly.
Having strayed from straight-up Black Metal has allows them to explore, and though there are trademarks of BM they have created a far gloomier and evil sound and the end result is far better than it could have been.
Embracing chilling synths, catchier Black’n’Roll, doom laden passages has opened up their sound, taking them in new directions that traditional Black metal couldn’t have, and the end result is pretty fantastic.
Review by Sam McKavanagh