Review by Brian on December 7, 2015.
Secrets of the Moon is a black metal band from Germany, that's all I knew. Their latest album Sun is their sixth full length since 2001. Since this is my first experience with the band I have no frame of reference as to the progress they've made as a band or where this release would stack up against their others. What I have experienced, with a some degree of joy I might add, is Sun.
Going in fresh and with no idea what I was about to listen to, opener "No More Colours" instantly grabbed my attention. It's a psychedelic number with some amazing guitar work. What first caught my attention was the very interesting and explosive vocals of sG. This would continue throughout each of the seven tracks on the album. He has several different styles at work here, my favorite being his David Bowie-esque delivery. A perfect exaple of this would be on "Man Behind the Sun", which actually sounds like it could be the title of a Bowie song. it begins with heavy guitars, again with a psychedelic vibe, that build before dropping into a clean channel, at this moment sG comes in sounding like the bastard child of Tom G. Warrior and Ziggy Stardust. You are drawn in with it's melodious yet somber chorus. It's not all about the vocals, the music holds it's own and provides these amazing backdrops for sG to operate.
The music is black metal at it's roots, but this is not black metal in the traditional sense. This pushes the genre to it's limits. The music is just as weird and interesting as the vocals. Sometimes it's down right catchy. Take "Hole" for example. There's doom elements, that are too punk to be doom. Sound weird? It is. However it's not weird just for the sake of being weird , like I said it's catchy too. The song builds upon itself. As the guitars build with lavish full chord strums, utilizing every note, the vocals soar, inviting you to sing along if you know the words. Each of the seven songs on Sun are dense, giving you layers to peal away at with each listen.
Secrets of the Moon have created a lavish, intellegent, progressive and dark gem of an album. With it's December release Sun has me making scribble marks on my year end list for it's inclusion. Black metal bands continue to push the boundries of metal to it's furthest reaches and Secrets of the Moon is not afraid to push it even further.
Rating: 8 out of 10