Oakland, California’s Secrets of the Sky makes a splash onto the metal scene with their debut full-length release “To Sail Black Waters.” Containing only 4 tracks, the album still runs approximately 40 minutes with the tracks ranging in running time from almost 8 minutes to almost 13 minutes.
Secrets of the Sky leans towards the doom metal side of the spectrum, but are far more than just another doom metal band. Garret Gazay’s vocals have many blackened influences as so some of the riffs found on this release. The majority of the six-piece band’s members play multiple instruments on this release, so you will hear twin keyboards playing or three guitar tracks in certain tracks.
The album opens with Winter, which is aptly titled due to the icy atmosphere that it sets for the remainder of the album. The opening track is raw when it needs to be and bright and clear in other elements.
Decline introduces clean vocals into the mix with an almost gothic feel to them. The mixture of the raspy, guttural shouts and the clean vocals play off of each other very well on Decline.
Sunrise opens with an utterly dirty, doom metal riff into a clean sound with whispered vocals until the track fully elevates to a dismal, evil track that sits perfectly in the layout of the album’s tracks. Black Water clocks in at 11:22 and hits varying styles throughout its lengthy play.
Overall, Secrets of the Sky’s “To Sail Black Waters” is a pretty successful debut and is very progressive in a lot of ways with its sound. It makes for a nice afternoon listen when you want to immerse yourself into some deep, dark metal. I am more of a fan of the first two tracks then the latter two, but, in total, the album works very well.
To Sail Black Waters Track Listing:
4. Black Water
Secrets of the Sky Line-up:
Garret Gazay – Vocals, Keyboards, Violin
Chris Anderson – Guitars, Keyboards
Clayton Bartholomew – Guitars, Keyboards
Andrew Green – Guitars
Ryan Healy – Bass
Lance Lea – Drums