Secrets of the Moon

With 2007s Antithesis, Germany’s Secrets of the Moon flirted with the black metal elite, mixing blackened atmospherics, death metal and depressive ambience into long slithering tracks and memorable set pieces that hinted at greatness. However, with the 65 minute run time, and even longer songs that emphasize mood over intensity, Privilegivm, feels more drawn out and less intense and menacing than its predecessor. But the result is still a eloquent, superior atmospheric album- just not a black metal album.

Honestly, it might be time for Secrets of the Moon to take the word ‘black’ out of their self described ‘occult black metal’, and while there are moments of dread inducing paranoia and regal mid paced marches contained on Privilegivm, there is very little jugular shredding black metal antics to tie the band to that musical scene anymore. That being said, those looking for an atmospheric, ritualistic and restrained foray into dark metal with subtle nuances and plenty of rangy songs should check this out.

Actually, I’m reminded of a far more polished version of the recent Weapon opus as far as the song writing balance between ambience, mid paced metal, death metal and black metal. The synths and choir tinged atmospherics back clean guitar tones and drums and the many facets of the expansive songs are a little too clear for many true black metal fans, but the generally plodding, brooding metal will have some appeal to most fans wanting artistic but still menacing metal.

Definitely a mood album, Privilegivm isn’t about songs or moments but more about 65 minutes of serpentine, mid paced marches and injections of mystical ambience. From the opening instrumental title track through the steady “Sulphur”, stern “Black Halo” the slow build of the 13 minute, three part centerpiece “Harvest”, doomy of “I, Maldoror”  almsot Anathema -ish opeing strains of “For They Know Not”  , and dusty repellence of “Queen Among Rats”  the tracks all bleed into each other one long journey of despondently majestic and ritualistic mid paced metal.

Only closer “Shepard” breaks rank with an awful Gothic ballad with clean vocals, that actually ends the album of quite a sour note. But luckily, the album as a whole, when taken without the closer is a complete ritual meant for black veils, wine, candles and hallucinagens.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
November 20th, 2009


  1. Commented by: Biff Tannan

    This band has really gone down hill. Sounds like second rate Satyricon, whom are themselves a 5th rate band.

  2. Commented by: Dimaension X

    I like this album a lot, but I think the limited bonus-CD ‘The Ambience of a Dead Star’ is my favorite. This one is certainly slower and moodier, and may not still well with fans of their older style.

  3. Commented by: xaden

    this record is a masterpiece for sure.most mainstreamers wont get it though. up there with the obitus record for best bm lp of the year.

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