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Secrets Of The Moon - Sun (2015) - Review

Band: Secrets Of The Moon
Album title: Sun
Release date: 4 December 2015
Label: Lupus Lounge/Prophecy Productions

01. No More Colours
02. Dirty Black
03. Man Behind The Sun
04. Hole
05. Here Lies The Sun
06. I Took The Sky Away
07. Mark Of Cain

One of the longest-serving German black metal bands who were founded back in 1995, Secrets Of The Moon, and since then released six full-lenght albums and a bunch of EP's has thrown upon us their ultimate masterpice named Sun. The band this time showcases a huge change in their musical orientation, so those searching for anything related to black metal will be a bit dissapointed, but no matter what, real fans of the band will still be able to find out the most notable characteristics of this German quartet which made them who they are, one of the most trustworthy extreme dark metal acts of the whole scene, consolidating their reputation as an influential and style-defining band. The story of Secrets Of The Moon has many twists, ups and downs, of which the suicide of their bass player LSK in 2013 was the most shocking one. Nevertheless, after their culminating blackened extreme dark metal album, Seven Bells, released in 2012, the band took the things a little bit different, the extremity in their music is still there, but Sun offers much more elegance, melody, flow and emotion.

Even though Secrets Of The Moon never repeated what they did before, Sun is without doubt band's boldest and most intense album to date, while black metal is here more as a dogma, the post-metal, dark metal, progressive metal, gothic, doom and atmospheric metal took the lead. Songs are much more compact and structured than before, vocals are much more varied and almost clean all over, yet still keeping a high dose of aggression, but the lead singer sG, Ar and Naamah Ash, all three responsible for vocals, did a tremendous job, reaching kind of a dynamics that is really hard to imagine. Guitars are much more spacey, most of the time melodic with plenty of amazing riffs, you'll hear even slide guitar on the marvelous "Man Behind The Sun" or acoustic parts, like in the beginning of the opening song. Strong bass lines, sometimes echoing in the back, technical and powerful drumming, occasionally rich ambiental keys, everything offering one of a kind listening experience for all those who ever embraced bands and acts such as early era EverEve, Sentenced, Darkseed, Killing Joke, Agrypnie, Todtgelichter, Tiamat, Vulture Industries, even Alice In Chains and much more associations can be found in here, while still being able to mantain their own character thanks to their great musicianship and artistic vision.

All of the tracks never get off the line and are nicely building up on atmosphere and intensity. It seems that everything is on the right place, from the beginning with in your face thrown "No More Colours", a song which on the very beginning sends shivers down the spine with its intensity and unique pathos. Progressive characteristics and alternative elements are present all over the "Dirty Black". The best awaits in before mentioned "Man Behind The Sun", a track full of dramatic moments, it's a perfect mix of extreme soul consuming metal darkness and captivating emotional melodic patterns, almost mind altering, showcasing bands spiritual catharsis and growth without restrictions. The imminent bleakness and occult, dealing with experience of becoming and perishing is inherited in the pounding echoing and building up in tension, "Hole". "There is no hope", is coming from the mounth of sG and nicely we are then thrown into the pinnacle named "Here Lies The Sun", with a couple of elements that could satisfy even some lovers of deathrock and fans of later era of The Sisters Of Mercy, but please don't take this for granted because Secrets Of The Moon made things much more expansive and heavy, just listen to the last two and a half cohesive minutes and you'll get the picture. Almost epic, pounding and doomy "I Took The Sky Away" is another piece that only shows how much versatile this band is, while the closing track "Mark Of Cain" surprisingly makes kind of a bond to their previous albums Seven Bells and Privilegivm, but still is in perfect simbiosis with the rest of the songs up here thanks to its very dense atmosphere and dynamic structure as it unites slow paced doom metal with fast blackened extereme metal, yet keeping the melody at high levels while adding some ambiental insertions to make the thing even more complex.

Sun is without doubt one of this years highlights in dark metal genre and thanks to the great production and fantastic mix and everything around the whole output, it shines in its bleakness even more. There's such an accurate songwriting, perfect performance and unbeliveable attention to every detail. I believe that this shift in their musical orientation will bring only benefits to Secrets Of The Moon, even if they'll of course loose some of their old fans, but that's the price you have to pay if you want to evolve, and Secrets Of The Moon is a band that is in constant evolution. I can't really imagine how to go further from here, but I'm pretty sure that this is not everything that this band from Germany has to offer. Long live Secrets Of The Moon, metal scene needs bands like you are!

Review written by: T.V.
Rating: 9,5/10