Ancient Moon/Prosternatur – Secretum Secretorum

Rating: 3.5/5
Distributor/label: Iron Bonehead
Released: 2018
Buy Album: https://ironboneheadproductions.bandcamp.com/album/ancient-moon-prosternatur-secretum-secretorum
Band Websites:
https://www.facebook.com/ancientmoon666/
https://www.facebook.com/Prosternatur/

BAND LINE-UPs:

Ancient Moon:

J – Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
B – Drums, Vocals
O – Guitars, Vocals

Prosternatur:

Anonymous

TRACKLISTING:

1. Ancient Moon: Hekas Hekas Este Bebeloi!
2. Prosternatur: Ana Harrani Sa Alaktasa La Tarat
3. Prosternatur: Zi Dingir Isatum Kanpa!
4. Prosternatur: Usella Mituti

REVIEW:

I’m a fairly opinionated person (not just my opinion), hence why I write reviews for a bit of a hobby. The people need to hear me. So it’s always a bit of a surprise when a curveball comes along I don’t entirely know what to make of. Enter here the split album of Ancient Moon and Prosternatur. Prosternatur is the deliberately mysterious band I reviewed (very positively I must add) a couple of years ago with their debut album, and Ancient Moon is a similarly mysterious, ritualistic/occultic black metal band, seemingly also from Europe.

What I can’t really get my head around is why they released it together? There doesn’t seem to be any deliberate collusion between them and the tracks don’t really gel. Ancient Moon offers the first, 18 minute long track, which at first, I really didn’t know if I liked or not. It’s drawn out, in some respects not very interesting, but is a definite builder. The word ‘hypnotic’ has been used to describe it by them and others, and this is very apt. It uses close, repeated rhythms/riffs and a mixture of chanting and growling to build over the whole time. I put it on thinking “this is a bit naff” and then by the tenth minute I’m rescinding that and really getting into it. Prosternatur then takes over the next three tracks: like a cuckoo takes over a nest. Their approach is definitely more in-your-face than Ancient Moon and as such is a notably more frantic departure from the first track. “Zi Dingar Isatum Kanpal” is the best of the three in my opinion, with a suitably blood curdling sound.

Ultimately though, I’m still left scratching my head as to why they bothered going to the effort of releasing only four tracks together. I’m sure both bands are capable of more and they would have been better off either collaborating together on a side-project, or hanging back and releasing a longer, proper album. But then, as I prefaced, this is just my opinion and maybe there’s more to come? Mystery is after all, their strong point.

Review by Bob Davidson
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