Secrets Of The Moon are the new hot name on the black metal scene. Their two early albums were absolutely blasting, but then a decline appeared in the middle of their career. “Seven Bells” is an honest attempt for the Germans to reach the great music of their first releases. Well, the truth is that it’s an equally good album and of course there is an improvement from its predecessor “Privilegivm”, even it has a different musical approach. The songs are more melodic and so well-composed with a characteristic dark atmosphere inside them. Also, it has something of Dissection’s music, at least for my ears.
The title song for example, reminds a lot of old good Dissection. It’s full of morbid melodies and great alterations of growls and vocals. Both of them are creating a grim atmosphere, which culminates later with the rough riffage and the fast drumming. The solo at the end is equally melodic, so we have a perfect start for their fifth album. As in any other album, also in “Seven Bells” the tracks vary in tempos. Next song, “Goathead” is an aggressive melodic black metal song, that is close to the “Carved In Stigmata Wounds” album. One of my favorite tracks here, is “Serpent Messiah”. For the first time Secrets Of The Moon produce such an atmospheric black metal song as they didn’t do before in previous releases. Perhaps the clean vocals of Ar help in that, and made me have a positive opinion for the whole album. It’s a very chaotic song, but I think that here the clean vocals have the first place. Just a total melodic black metal song.
Throughout their career, Secrets Of The Moon have many influences of the Scandinavian scene and this is obvious in songs like “Blood Into Wine”. This song is something between Dark Funeral and Dissection. It has the usual tremolo pickings in lead guitar and mutes in rhythm guitar, fitted perfectly on the melodies. A primitive black metal song, that is another step back to the band’s beginning. Another very good song in “Seven Bells” is “Worship”, even it’s a mid-tempo song. A very solid track, that is coming only to hammer the previous furious songs. Deep sound melodies, frequent guitar muting, slow drumming and mystic vocals, are contributed in this ghostlike atmosphere.
The second favorite song of mine is the next track, “Nyx”. It’s also a catatonic song, but with so evident melodies, which they’re so well-played. The “sick” vocals on the other side, create a pitch black scene together with the heavily distorted guitars. The result is a very dark song with a supernatural taste, which I loved from the first listening.
Last but not least, comes “The Three Beggars”. The archaic black metal roots from the early era, are coming again in “Seven Bells”. The aggressive music compositions reminds the first albums, although bombastic clean and female vocals are added. Breakdowns on the other side, are responsible for this ritualistic atmosphere, that dominates in the song. I think that now, it’s time for the Lucifer’s rising.
“Seven Bells” is clearly better, than the two previous albums. Secrets Of The Moon came back again, did the luciferian prayer and they did it very successful. The new album can only be compared with the debut album of Triptykon, because they have the same attitude. Musically, it’s a very good combination of the past raw black metal times and the recent melodic innovations. The band had chosen carefully guest appearances by Schwadorf (The Vision Bleak, Empyrium), Kvohst (Dodheimsgard, Code, Hexvessel) and Morten Gass (Bohren & der Club of Gore) to complete this stunning album. They are morbid, they are bizarre, they are black hearted. They are Secrets Of The Moon.