Secrets of the Moon – Privilegivm (Lupus Lounge)

Sunday, 17th March 2013
Rating: 7/10

Long considered the only relevant German black metal band (what ever happened to Agathodaimon, by the way?), Secrets of the Moon made some serious inroads two years ago with Antithesis, a charming display of pristine melodic black metal. And while the band is no real threat to Watain’s throne of Dissection aping grandeur, Antithesis bore the mark of BM promise. The album in question, Privilegivm does not.

When we reference melodic black metal, it ties directly to Dissection and wisely enough, Secrets of the Moon have moved away from that sound, preferring more streamlined riffing and less dynamics. Such a maneuver keeps otherwise tepid numbers like “Black Halo” and the three-part “Harvest” out of the memory banks. It’s something the band totally could have prevented; the songs just aren’t there.

As Privilegivm paces along, some notable moments occur. Namely, the blunt-force pounding of “Queen Among Rats” and the standout “Descent.” Here, the Germans find a way to tangle their nifty production values with primal black metal intensity. More of this would be advised, unfortunately.

By the way, the packaging on this thing is lovely (gotta love getting finished copies of albums in the mail…killer), so there’s another positive. It’s mostly blasé though, Secrets of the Moon could have taken a serious leap while Watain toil with new material. Granted, this by no means is a dud album, it’s simply a matter of not meeting expectations.

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