Monday, February 17, 2014

Secrets of the Moon

Secrets of the Moon - Unearthed Arcana
Self-Released, 1995
Genre: Black Metal

1. Intro
2. Screams of Anguish
3. Lonesome in Forest at Nightfall
4. Sensual Defloration
5. Sailà
6. Luna Eclipse

Secrets of the Moon has recently seen a huge growth in their following with the release of "Antithesis", but I don't think a lot of the newer fans realize how old this band really is. This first demo came out in 1995 and the only original member of the band to satay with the band into their modern fame was Daevas, however, he has also left the band and now there are no original members left. So, it's interesting to see this original incarnation of Secrets of the Moon. This tape comes with a xeroxed booklet and a dubbed tape. The only thing I can find online is that this tape is limited to approximately 450 hand-numbered copies, of which I own #95.

It's unsurprising to say that the production quality is not spectacular, it is a Black Metal demo from '95 after all. But the production is actually done well enough for us to hear everything. The cymbals seem to get a bit lost in the mix, but overall this sounds pretty good for an early demo. The music is pretty typical for the 90's German scene at the time. The only song that stands out as having a very different feel is "Screams of Anguish" and this is because it has these more technical leads, which aren't typical for a Black Metal band. It even starts off with a roaring bass line, before delving into a very Thrashy guitar line. However, that kind of riffing gives way to the more typical Black Metal, but switches around with more melodic riffing. At points it sort of reminds me of the type of stuff Sorhin would do, but much better. Then we have a beautiful instrument, "Lonesome in Forest at Nightfall", which is just acoustic guitar and wolves howling in the background. We then return to the usual blasting Black Metal with guitars sawing away. Secrets of the Moon is certainly a talented band and I'm sure they'll offer more to the world, but for now they remind me of a blend of some Gorgoroth and Dødheimsgard, but they don't really have the chilling atmosphere of either band.

Even in 1995 there seems to be a plethora of influences for new bands to draw off of, so I think Secrets of the Moon is trying to really solidify their sound. I think this sounds really different compared to other bands out there, but I think they're still working on how to blend songs together better. Some good riffs do shine through, but a lot of the atmosphere feels a little dry to me, compared with the Scandinavian styles at least. Maybe that's just me though. Definitely interesting to see where this band began, before they really hit upon some interesting writing.

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