As post-punk and goth rock influences become almost ubiquitous in the metal underground, it takes a band of some distinction to take those ingredients and produce something genuinely startling.
Secrets Of The Moon have never been particularly straightforward or predictable, but Sun is full of jarring surprises, from the strength of frontman sG’s melodies to the sheer physicality of the band’s swaggering delivery.
Significantly, it’s the quality of the songwriting that ensures that this instantly dwarfs the Germans’ previous efforts. Although there are no obvious weak moments, the four-song run that includes Man Behind The Sun, Hole, Here Lies The Sun and I Took The Sky Away is simply flawless: a warped, macabre symphony conducted at His behest. The closing Mark Of Cain serves as a venomous and almost punk epilogue, sG’s hectoring roar coming across like a glue-sniffing Tom G Warrior.
This is still black metal, but almost casually so at this point; Secrets Of The Moon have gone beyond, savoured the essence of Bauhaus, Killing Joke and The Nephilim and emerged reeking of black roses, bad dreams and the breath of Beelzebub. Bravo.