Review Summary: An intelligent use of atmosphere and a tendency to do the simple things well allows Secrets Of The Moon’s ‘Seven Bells’ to stand by itself, making for an interesting and thoroughly enjoyable listen.
Fans have been teased by the band’s numerous Ep’s, singles and demo workings, but after a three year wait Secrets Of The Moon grace the black metal community with seven quality tracks; aptly titled ‘Seven Bells
’. Now, the band’s 2012 release may not better its predecessor Privilegivm
but it is likely that Seven Bells
will maintain a high level of replay value for those both familiar with the band but also those within the genre. Emerging from the German occult black metal scene Secrets Of The Moon have always had competition from home and internationally; thus never really reaching the forerunners of the genre. Bands like Satyricon, Shining (SWE), Lunar Aurora as well as countless other bands are for the most shares the majority of the spot light. Fortunately for Secrets Of The Moon, they are gaining steady attention from the metal community.
When describing the sound of Seven Bells
it’s important to understand the role concept has in the album. Despite all outward opinions this album is not as straight forward as first appears. The music is blackened (obviously), bleak, controlled and built on a remarkable use of atmosphere. Sections thrash along usually with some dissonant melody structure that reinforces this dark, cold and to an extent progressive album. Secrets Of The Moon excel in their ability to combine very simplistic ideas and promote them with a higher sense of atmosphere. The band is in no way restricted to the regular constraints of the genre. There is no excessive amount of blast beating, no undecipherable gritty vocal patterns and the album doesn’t sound like it was recorded in a tin can. Secrets Of The Moon give listener and album that is balanced, interesting, provides contrast and progresses at a respectable pace. There will be moments where Seven Bells
sounds just like any other black metal band, but with the band’s ability to write songs at this level, the album begins to not only stand on its own, but stand above other acts.
There may be aspects where the listener finds sections tedious; tracks like ‘Worship’ which rely on a certain repetition to convey the tracks concept may come across as overdone especially where the lyrics reinforce the “You will be free”. The tracks also get progressively longer (the final track ‘The Three Beggars’ being just over twelve and a half minutes) and are absent of typical structural patterns. Fortunately for most this won’t be a problem as the track progresses and the atmosphere builds allowing the listener to be taken on an eerie, atmospheric ride.
may not launch Secrets Of The Moon completely out of the underground black metal scene, but it allows for the band to emerge gaining a little more attention with each release. Seven Bells
may not see the same mystical heights as Privilegivm
or have the same occult effect that Carved in Stigmata Wounds
did, but Secrets Of The Moon’s 2012 album shows they know exactly what they are doing.