SECRETS OF THE MOON - PRIVILEGIUM - LUPUS LOUNGE
This album is an imposing package. It is tough to come up with a better description for an album that oozes sophistication, power and atmosphere. Here is why.
Privilegium’s album cover and package just oozes class. Think Metallian Towers ambiance and decoration. The black on grey artwork, the elegant and classy layout and the cover concept are simple acts of refinement. Strange, it is a heavy album whose music is not a letdown. So, keep on reading. The bitten apple on the cover might invite a lawsuit from the margin-rich Apple folk, but the religious implications and insinuation is clear. The label and the band have done all the right things to make the album presentable.
So, how is the metallic and musical content? Again, inspiring. The album kicks off with a twisted take on the old Slayer riff. The instrumental is modern take on Slayer’s hypnotic rhythm. The drums are mixed high and dominant. Some words on the production in a moment. The album is riddled with atmosphere and mystery, but never hits lows like My Dying Bride or stupidity like the three-dozen Finnish bands making the rounds. With all the bleakness, variety and atmosphere it will be exceedingly difficult classifying the band as Slayer, Opeth or Arcturus, but there is a little bit of all of those in there. The heavier and faster songs do hit a strident Satyricon note with multiple layers, but unfortunately are reversed somewhat by the rockier segments and the odd keyboards, clean vocals and solos. Shepherd, for example strives for a symphonic doom aura - something it reasonably achieves. SG’s vocals mimic an old dying man’s to a 'T.'
The entire collection does have one unifying theme however. The quality is the band’s military-like precision in all its delivery. It might be the tight riffs or the booming melodies.
Secrets Of The Moon has issued an ambitious album that revels in atmosphere, poetic convolution and heaviness. The sound production and engineering is extremely moving and powerful without being commercially clean or overly layered. The mellower moments are dilutive and detracting in terms of a mark. Still, Privilegium is a little different; a little better if not completely a heavy metal tour de force all the same. - Ali “The Metallian”