SECRETS OF THE MOON, Warhead (2011, Lupus Lounge)
“Psst. Up here. It’s me, The Moon. I’ve got a secret for you. If you look hard enough, like if you really get close and look around, every skull has a baby head on it somewhere. It’s true! I know it sounds crazy, but I’m not shitting with you. Seriously. And man, once you get over that mind-blowing, let me tell you, I’ve got tons more secrets like that one, and I’d be totally glad to let you in on them. You just gotta do me one favor. Destroy the earth. Yeah, like blow up the whole planet. How’re you gonna do it? You’ve gotta figure that our yourself. I mean, yeah, I know how to do it, but I kinda can’t say. It’s complicated. Yeah, it’s one of those secrets I was telling you about. So anyway, think about it, and get back to me, but don’t take too long. Time’s a wastin’, if you know what I’m saying!”
Secrets of the Moon have been around in one form or another for a close to twenty years, and their brand of black metal is fairly well polished and sophisticated, even if it still lacks a fundamental originality. Immortal and Satyricon are meaningful comparisons, although Secrets of the Moon, at least on the one original included on this single, rarely take the tempo above “mid,” and I have no problem with that. Said original, “Seven Bells,” ably captures some of the vibe of the classic (first wave) antecedents to black metal as we know it now, touching on Sodom and Mercyful Fate in equal measure. The a-side of the single is a cover of Venom’s “Warhead,” so the band is clearly intentionally signalling their interest in pre-Darkthrone black metal, although I’m not sure it ever makes much aesthetic sense to cover Venom. Still, they do a perfectly fine job of it, even if their over-effected vocals make one long for the dulcet tones of Cronos.
— Friar Johnsen