Secrets of the Moon – Antithesis
Secrets of the Moon blend black, death, doom, and prog metal, slightly recalling Akercocke, though the latter lets in more light. I haven't heard this German band's first album, Stronghold of the Inviolables, though one review describes its production as "of the basement variety." Thus, Antithesis (Lupus Lounge, 2006; AJNA Offensive, 2007) follows the path of 2004's Carved in Stigmata Wounds, but with much stronger production and performances.
On this album, Secrets of the Moon have found the intangible "it" - when you know your vision and execute it perfectly. The production brings this out, with huge guitars and a clear mix. I could listen to this album for hours. It's light and dark, it's epic and endless, and for once I am at a loss for words, as Antithesis simply blows me away.
The liner notes are beautiful, with refreshingly serif-free lyrics and subtle, black-on-black titles. Accompanying the lyrics are haunting black-and-white photos, including a detail of the Holocaust Memorial, one of Berlin's most powerful locations, spiritually and aesthetically. This is a total package, a near-perfect balance of esoteric and accessible. I cannot recommend this album highly enough. You can find it at The AJNA Offensive and The End.