SECRETS OF THE SKY – To Sail Black Waters
- by Matt Coe
- Posted on 30-09-2013
Expanding the horizons of a number of genres, Secrets Of The Sky is an Oakland, California sextet with at times three guitarists and three keyboardists creating an experimental progressive/black/doom sound on their debut album "To Sail Black Waters". Normally four songs would place this effort into the EP column- but when 2 of the tracks crawl over the 11 minute mark and your shortest construction "Sunrise" clocks in at a meager 7:43, it’s safe to say the band place plenty of atmosphere and thought behind these arrangements.
The band blends together waves of crushing heaviness against passages with remarkable taste and restraint. Patience will be a virtue taking in the 12:45 "Decline"- the opening segments very post-metal/ doom oriented as Garett Gazay’s vocals come from an extreme black metal place, giving way to this clean melodic contrast as the keyboards swim to shore. The acoustic guitar work around 3:18-4:38 gives way to another doom burst, the lead break carefully placed to not disturb the slow momentum, and you’ll even get a dual guitar harmony element that reaches into the Iron Maiden / Slough Feg catalog.
Opeth, Isis, and The Ocean will come up the most in comparison’s sake- but that would do Secrets of the Sky a great disservice. "To Sail Black Waters" is only the beginning of what I predict could be a healthy and influential career. These six musicians use the tools of their trade for the greater good- experimentation, atmospheric exploration, and a firm understanding of when you need to build up notes/ riffs and when you need to just let things breathe.
The Bay Area isn’t just known for thrash- Secrets of the Sky wish to put progressive, atmospheric doom with post-metal/black influences on everyone’s listening plate.