Review Summary: It wasn’t til 2008 that Secrets Of The Moon achieved a sound that ultimately defined their version of black metal with Antithesis.
Although not widely heard of Secrets Of The Moon have been producing some of the most consistent black metal records of the genre. This statement may not be that much of a bold one but it allows for Antithesis
to be received as one of the genre’s best releases. Since their debut release in 2001 Secrets Of The Moon have flown largely under the radar. Hailing from Germany this occult focused band has built a steady albeit small fan base all from a consistent display of their sinister yet completely accessible black metal. Enter Antithesis
following up on another successful release (Carved In Stigmata Wounds
) which was actually considered a monolith of a record at the time. With this record however Secrets Of The Moon have built upon the themes and foundations of the debut and Carved In Stigmata Wounds
and solidified down to the finest detail to ensure a successful release with a level of ambience to maintain the listeners attention. A culmination in fact that draws the listener into a web of sinister riffs and bob inducing drum sections before the lyrical depth engages the listener.
One way to think of this (and very loosely) is Deathspell Omega with an eerie resemblance to Fen or Agalloch’s ambience pulled off with a straightforward approach heavily drenched in consistent passages and solid musicianship. There is a minimalistic approach to this record to be noticed here, the music has been stripped down before being built on. The lyrical themes present all link up into a greater concept, the music is far from flamboyant and flashy and the production is an excellent mix between raw and flawlessly clean; it’s easy to say that this wasn’t recorded in a rickety basement somewhere. Every section, every note comes through with clarity that helps push the albums concept onto the listener in a positive manner. Tracks progress and circle with an atmosphere rivalled only by black metals heavyweights. From the static buzz of the introduction to the end product found in the appropriately titled ‘Exit’.
For black metal purists the overly clean production may be a bit of a turn off but it allows for the band’s message to be carried through, adding to the music’s overall atmosphere. All the subtle changes and layering shine eerily throughout the record, pulsing and pushing through. Secrets Of The Moon show an excellent, well rounded approach to their brand of black metal. With a solid display of music behind and a formula on which to build on for future releases they can only hope to achieve releases of a higher calibre. Regardless, Antithesis
is the beginning of a successful black metal recipe. The music is largely no frills and for fans of the genre and similar bands such as Lunar Aurora, Drautran or the already mentioned Deathspell Omega, this not so known occult black metal band from Germany will be sure to turn heads once they become a little more noticeable. For black metal that is as sinister as it is accessible, give Secrets Of The Moon’s Antithesis