Tuesday, February 4, 2014

sometimes, if the music is very slow, reaching an understanding of the music is also a slow process: SECRETS OF THE SKY: To Sail Black Waters (Kolony Records)

sometimes, if the music is very slow, reaching an understanding of the music is also a slow process: SECRETS OF THE SKY: To Sail Black Waters (Kolony Records)
It took me a very long time to understand Secrets of the Sky. I had the sense that there was something there that I might enjoy, but the sheer massively slow music just kept blocking real inroads into the music.
I finally feel like I comprehend it a bit. That's the reason I kept coming back to it. Secrets of the Sky is primarily a doom band, that's obvious enough on the four-track, 40-minute mammoth of an album called "To Sail Black Waters."
The drumming keeps the music at a steady-slow (but not super slow, just regular, midpaced slow) beat. This element likely represents a saving grace for the album because it allows some listeners to hone in on the drumming as a way to go further into the music. In fact, there always seem to be moments in which the drumming picks up the energy a bit and that provides a boost to the doom.
One of the more acquired tastes in this case will be the "black metal screech" growl screaming. It is likely that if you absolutely hate that style of vocals, this won't change your mind because it is harsh, unpleasant yelling and growling. There is some "clean singing," but I do not know if it's a guest or not. The band uses it sparingly and it is not a formulaic piece of the puzzle.
The guitar work is minimalist and chugging in places, although the band does have some melodies that appear to be guitar work, to complement the heavy, play-on riffing. Then again, some of the melodies probably also come from the keyboards found on the album, although the keyboards are not very upfront and seem to be more for background sound. That's how it sounds to me, at least, given that I don't sense a dominant use of keyboards.
Thus, Secret of the Skies has a few surprises for the listener, including the use of melody in doom, depressive, slow heavy sounds. It does require some to time to make sense, but how much time depends on the listener, of course. In my case, it took a lot more than a few listens.
www.facebook.com/secretsofthesky

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