Secrets of the Moon
Antithesis

With The Exhibitions EP being my first exposure to this German black metal band, I’m not sure I’m able to gage Secrets of The Moon’s standing within the hierarchy of black metal, but based on personal taste alone, I happen to think this band is one of the finest, yet underrated black metal bands around. Maybe that’s why elite black metal label, The Anja Offensive picked up this release from Lupus Lounge Records and chose to re-issue it not even 8 months after its original release.

To these ears and more importantly to my psyche, SOTM have that rare ability to imbue certain emotions with their sneering, slithering, yet robust take on black metal and its many sub genres that SOTM manage to include in their sound. Sharing the nervous, paranoid feel of some of the US’s one man bands, yet mixes in progressive death metal elements (that sort of reminded me of classic Celtic Frost), some Scandinavian extremity (Enochian Crescent comes to mind), and a stout production, Antithesisis an absorbing, innovative and disturbing listen.

No where is this more predominant on the serpentine “Confessions” which has a Morbid Angel-ish crawl and neck hair raising chord progression, and the Morbid Angel vibe arises for the lurching “Metamorphoses” and “Ghost”, two more majestically lumbering tracks that show SOTM refuse to be painted into a tremolo picked staccato black metal pigeonhole. “Versus” is a more standard track that mixes death metal percussive plod and blackened vigor and “Ordinance” and “Seraphim Is Dead” are arguably the albums most ‘black’ metal sounding even with their various tangents and experimental elements which are fully embedded in the nearly nine minute, dread inducing closer “Lucifer Speaks”.

With the exception of the introductory “Nowhere (11:18 )” and outro “Exit”, the tracks are long, developed and tangibly evil without relying on screams, squeals or black metal gimmicks; just twisted, contorted riffage and sublime song writing.

Great black metal for people like me that don’t like the black metal typical fare

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
April 23rd, 2007

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