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Secrets Of The Sky : Pathway

With their energetic, atmospheric blend of blackened Death Doom, Secrets of the Sky deserve more recognition than they’ve been getting.

A sticker on the jewel case describes Pathway, the second album by now-disbanded US outfit Secrets of the Sky, as “emotional, thrilling blackened Doom Metal”, which is true enough: the music is surprisingly energetic by Doom standards, its up-front approach calling to mind a slower, gloomier Keen of the Crow. The Black Metal influence comes mainly in the form of screamed vocals alternating with the deep growls that are more typical of the Death Doom basis of the music. In its calmer moments, on the other hand, the album has a lot in common with some of Elegeion’s material, minus the neoclassical flourishes. A few hints of Post-Metal are thrown in for good measure. The tempo is moderately slow for the most part. Heavy-as-a-brick riffs and Peaceville-style twin guitars are interspersed with cleverly placed acoustic and clean guitars as well as tasteful keyboard textures, adding to the brooding atmosphere which permeates every song.

The album’s most striking qualities, therefore, are the highly effective and engaging songwriting, and the dense atmosphere. These two aspects work in tandem to make for a very enjoyable listen for lovers of dark and heavy music. Thanks to the top-notch production and excellent musicianship, Pathway sounds highly professional throughout, which makes you wonder why Secrets of the Sky are such a well-kept secret – especially considering they were backed by a fairly big label.

One thing that puzzles me, however, is the high number of untitled interludes, consisting mainly of samples (of fire, horse carriages, breaking waves etc.). Unremarkable as they are, they do not seem to be going anywhere, thus interrupting the flow of the music unnecessarily rather than adding to it. Even if they are all very short, they further eat away at the relatively short playing time. Furthermore, the clean vocals do not always hit quite as high a mark as the other performances, which is most conspicuous in the non-Metal track “Another Light”, but to be fair, they are well-composed and fitting in most cases. These minor flaws, at any rate, are not reason enough to advise against checking out this great release!

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Reviewer's rating: 8.5/10


Tracklist :
1. I
2. Three Swords
3. II
4. Angel in Vines
5. Another Light
6. III
7. IV
8. Garden of Prayers
9. V
10. Fosforos
11. VI
12. Eternal Wolves
13. VII

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Secrets Of The Sky bandpage.

Reviewed on 2017-06-24 by Dominik Sonders
Aesthetic Death
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