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A Marvellous Debut - 85%

NH, March 1st, 2008

Finally, Secrets Of The Moon, one of the best German Black Metal-bands have released their debut-album. "Stronghold Of The Inviolables" shows rather clear how the band has developed since their "Promo-Tape 1998", they have become less melodic but somehow darker, which might as well be a result of the production of this LP. The production is something one has to cope with. I really had my problems with the sound for the first few listens, but this LP really grows the longer one listens to it. Still this band has a rather Nordic approach, but it is even harder to compare them to any band inside the scene nowadays, at least I have problems to compare them with any band known to me, but I guess they will rather take this as the praise it is meant as. I still cannot understand why a lot of less talented bands in Germany are given contracts and this one is still unsigned. Everyone, who likes to explore paths that have not been trampled yet, is asked to give this band a chance. You won't be disappointed.

Favourite Track: Praise The Khaos

(Originally published in The Purgatory Of Grief 1999-2001 (RIP))

Not Just Another Black Metal Band. - 94%

Hammond, October 16th, 2004

Secrets of the Moon is a great Symphonic Black Metal band and this album is one of their best. This is one of the most varied and complex atmospheric albums I have ever heard. There are so much cool little things that make this album great. For instance it starts off with a hip-hop beat that get taken over by a heavily distorted guitar, then later by drum that makes the beat sound like impending doom. The great vocal effects can make them dreamlike, then turn them into a nightmare in a few seconds. The music is also like this, you can be relaxed listening to a synth line while out of nowhere a great guitar riff rips by you like a car going twice your speed heading right for you. How is that for unrelenting?

There are tons of little Easter eggs in this album as well. Some are just a few seconds like when the drums played a colonial battle march. One of the most impressive Easter eggs was when a background guitar riff fades into a synth line, then into a bass line and finishes with drums turning it into a beat while a synth plays over the whole time. That kind of detail in just the background is amazing to say the least.

The negative parts of the album are few and far between. Some parts go on for too long but I was never flat out bored the whole time. Also although the vocals were amazing the actual lyrics left something to be desired. The guitar lacked complexity but that is not what this album was about.

Overall this is a great Symphonic Black Metal album by an older band that does not get the respect it deserves.