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Exhibition Of The Moon - 93%

Velkaarn, June 21st, 2006

The 2005 offering of the German esoteric BM crew Secrets Of The Moon is their second release on Lupus Lounge, the BM sublabel of Prophecy. They're known to put out releases with a twist and the older material of SOTM isn't the most run-of-the-mill stuff either, so that sets certain expectations on this three song mini. Two new songs are featured along with a cover of the Norwegian cult Darkthrone, making the total playtime 17:20.

The first 30 seconds into the first song "Bleakstar" and I'm strongly reminded of Satyricon's "Rebel Extravaganza", the feeling, the sound and the atmosphere in general is very similar to that album's. The vocals are interesting here in the first verse, alternating with the harsh voice reciting a part of the texts and a clean, spoken voice filling the lines. This somewhat choppy and very modern sounding part is followed by a break that spawns an excellent, slower and heavier dramatic lead into the chorus "the star is here, speaking in triads". This conjures up a powerful, epic (not the power metal way) atmosphere, the kind that makes you mosh slowly, with eyes closed and a determined grimace etched on your visage. The leaden heaviness is followed by a part where the song seems to coil up and start looking for new direction, darting this way and that like a serpent after warm-blooded prey. Another verse with alternating vocals similar to the beginning follows, churns on for a while and then turns into the same epic bit, shorter version this time and ending the song. I am quite into this one!

The second song begins with a heavy riff joined by what sounds like a sample of drums and the real instrumentation taking turns until the songs seems to get going with spoken latin passage, echoed by a whisper. This turns out to be still warm up as a break introduces us into guitar picking melodic notes accompanied by the cymbals, building up for a melodic riff accompanied by the thunderous drums to finally lead into the first proper verse recited by the grim voice of Daevas. This is followed by almost nu-metallish or whatever crossoveresque bit with another voice crying "Show them...", lead vocal stating "...this contemptuous kind..." the other voice yelling " the..." and the lead voice finishing "...grey of the sky" and repeated. It's not as bad as my puzzling rambling might make it seem, rather adding to the unique touch. Another steadily proceeding verse follows, but this time with multiple vocals overlapping and again going to the bit which we'll assume for chorus by now. A fast part follows, being carried on sligthly more conventional riffing and harsh voice. A part reminiscent of the verse follows, morphing into a choppy bit during which synths make an appearance. This eventually leads to the end for this one. Though I'm not really too partial for overtly complex and very elaborate music I am still onboard instead of struggling in the lake with half a lung of water, so this is quite impressive still.

Last is a cover version of Darkthrone's "Under A Funeral Moon" which they do here remaining quite loyal to the original, of course with a more updated sound. They succeed decently in retaining the atmosphere of the original while giving it very subtle touches of their own. Even still I approve and as this was the end for this EP I probably must decree it a winner. A splendid EP that leaves me with high hopes for the upcoming album. Recommended for those who can enjoy the more modern sort of blackened METAL with an occult feel.