Check out the Metal Riot review of To Sail Black Waters here!
Slow and steady is the way that “Black Waters” brings you into this Secrets of the Sky debut effort. Even just the first two minutes of this four song album are so dynamic and so well done – they enchant the listener in such an irresistible way. Reminiscent of progressive metal efforts mixed with a heavy doom-y bass line and groove. Then, suddenly, the listener is plummeted into the various black metal screams and death metal growls that vocalist Garett Gazay pulls of as flawlessly as he does melodic vocals.
Garett’s voice goes from lullingly melodic to black metal growl with ease. The constant back and forth between these vocal stylings build to climactic moments. They build senses of urgency that lend to the lyrical intensity of the album.
All six members of the band contribute as instrumentalists to build a seismic atmosphere of head-banging groove.
Secrets of the Sky have three people who play keyboards and three people who play guitars and yet there is no need for combating solos, or solos at all. Everything gels together. It seems not to be about being the most noticeable instrumentalists on the album, but about building up the thickest, most ensnaring atmosphere possible.
What these six instrumentalists build on this album is the soundtrack to those moments on an all-night Greyhound bus ride where you wonder where you are, or if you’ve slipped off into nowhere.
Along with great instrumentation seems to be some interesting, if not profound lyrics. In the beginning of “Black Waters” the listener may be moved to worry about the members of Secrets Of The Sky when Garett sings, “For prepared is my soul for this life to end – to sail black waters to the resting place – so bring me the death I desire.”
However, the lyrics seem to be talking about some kind of rebirth or reincarnation, “I live to die and live again.” (From the second song “Winter”)
And, “For the after death is another life.” (From “Black Waters”)
Whatever meaning these lyrics may have, they are as dark, heavy and sinister as the rest of the album and help to meld it all together.