Secrets of the Sky
To Sail Black Waters

One of the best things about metal is the breadth of styles and genres available, and finding a band out of nowhere and being blown away by their style is something that will never get old for me.  The debut album by Oakland natives Secrets of the Sky is just that type of find.  Playing a form of progressive, doom/sludgy black metal, this album is just epic and knocks it out of the park on so many levels.

One of, if not THE most, impressive part of this amazing album are the vocals of Garett Gazay.  He starts out with some raspy, black metal-ish vocals to kick off opener “Winter”, then moves to a killer death growl, then all the way to the other end of the spectrum with some whispered vocals.  Clean singing makes its way onto the album with the next track, “Decline”, and fits the music and atmosphere perfectly while lending further credence to Gazay’s amazing range.  In addition to the phenomenal vocals, the guitars on this album are just massive.  I have always liked the heavier aspects of Opeth, and this album has it in spades.

But this album is far from just hero worship.  The dark, brooding atmosphere and tension that builds up during the slow parts add an astounding level of depth to this album.  Check out the 9:12 mark of “Decline”, where the long instrumental break builds up to a head snapping roar from Gazay and a guitar tone that’s thicker than Kim Kardashian’s ass.  These breaks are used masterfully throughout this LP, and are one of the highlights of an album filled with dozens of them.  The way the triple-headed guitar attack, bass line and drums weave together with Gazay’s vocals shows a level of talent and songwriting that truly demonstrates musical talent and songwriting at its highest form.  In the band lineup they list keyboards as one of the instruments used, but I honestly had a hard time picking them out after over a dozen spins.  They’re either so subtle as to barely be noticed, or added so seamlessly well you have to REALLY be trying to notice them.  As one might guess with metal such as this, it’s only 4 tracks, but each one averages in the 9-10 minute range; I honestly could have listened to an album this good for two hours.

If you’re a fan of Opeth, Isis, or Neurosis, or just mind-blowing progressive metal (even though I’m not a big fan of that term) in general, this is an absolute must listen and one that will no doubt be on my year end list.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kevin E
December 19th, 2013


  1. Commented by: Luke_22

    With you all the way. Sensational album. Top fiver for me. Production is absolutely killer as well.

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