Saturday, October 31, 2009

What's Next To The Moon

Secrets Of The Moon / Divine Heresy
Thee Parkside, San Francisco
October 30, 2009

Going into the show I didn't know much about Secrets Of The Moon other than (1) they are from Germany (2) they are on their first tour of the States and (3) Umlaut friend Midwest Metal Tom gave their recent Chicago show a positive review.

Secrets Of The Moon

This was a packaged bill with Moonspell and Divine Heresy... neither of whom I wanted to see... I was only there to see Secrets Of The Moon. Sorry, just being honest. Anyway, Halloween was in the air... but you'll never guess what color everyone was wearing in the club.... Nope! It was BLACK.. I know, right?

Unfortunately, they flip flopped the running order of the lineup tonight and Divine Heresy went on first; it was unfortunate because we had to suffer through their set. I don't want to waste too much time on this: The guitarist from Fear Factory is in the band. They were awful. Divine Heresy are the kind of Jock Metal band that ruined Metal for so long. A glance at the pit said it all: Mostly bald white boyz shoving one another; it wasn't even a proper pit... They were just shoving each other. Awful... but there were enough knuckle draggers in the house to make the band's set a success, and it bummed me out that crap had triumphed.

In hindsight it was probably a good thing that Divine Heresy played before Secrets Of The Moon (SOTM), because it gave the night perspective. It's always a little more interesting seeing a Metal band from Europe, if only because they've traveled all that way to play. You can generally tell if a band is from Continental Europe because they're wearing engineer boots. Check it out sometime.

I'll just cut to the chase: SOTM owned San Franfuckingcisco on this night.... COMPLETELY. Watching them reminded me of the first time I heard Celtic Frost... at least that's what popped into my head. You could tell this was a seasoned band and they made the absolute most of their time onstage... No bullshitting... No "It's so nice to be here on our first visit to America" banter... They didn't even really *look* at the audience... It was like they were looking past the audience into a void and they were playing their music to appease that void... I'm serious, man. SOTM performed on another, higher level than most bands that I've seen recently.

Although I was entranced by the entire band's performance, the rhythm section of LSK (that's her "name"...) and Thelemnar (that's his "name"...) was tight, I was particularly caught up in the black TONE that Ar (that's his "name"...) created on rhythm guitar as he wielded a 7-string Schecter axe. Evidently Ar is only a member of the touring band; interesting. At one point in their set, frontman sG (that's his "name"...) addressed the audience and said "We are Secrets Of The Moon and we are from The Old World.." He said that in such a matter-of-fact, confident, and bold way that I felt like I was only an infant in the presence of this band who had traveled from a country whose history extends back to Roman Times... and I wanted to join them to stare into that void they were trying to appease... and I did.. and I will.

After SOTM we headed back out into the black San Francisco night before Moonspell's set. I'm not a fan... just being honest. After SOTM there was no reason to watch another band on this night anyway.

If you bought one of every Secrets Of The Moon merch item you would have paid $40... and I did. On the way back to the car, some pimply-faced teenagers called us fags. According to the Umlaut Archives this was my 74th gig of 2009 and it's pretty fucking cool that at this point in the year I saw a band who blew me away.... COMPLETELY.