Solo act from down under, Moon, brings about an ethereal supernatural experience of what can only be described as an out of body experience by means of atmospheric occult black metal. Epic tracks like the closer “Chalice”, bring back the simplicity and unearthly ambiance of mid to late Burzum and a strong dissonant tone of older Xasthur while a background of chanting hovers in the near distance like the dead calling forth through the fog. At first I was thinking, “Oh shit, this is TOO much like Xasthur and many things I’d heard before ( although I do love this style)….”, but then I gave it an honest run through and came up with different conclusions.
“Forest Samhain” and “Beneath” do, yet again, appear to be an Xasthur clone on the surface, but after a second listen through and comparison I have to say that there are some differences that really jump out. The percussion, although a drum machine, is on the heavy side giving a deeper and more primitive tribal impact as opposed to mere background where the tracks are more like dissipating gases than something tangible…score one for Moon on physicality and impact. The layering of the elements is more three-dimensional than Xasthur: where he captured the airy and spiritual ambience of death and isolation, Moon captures some of the mortality and painful/violent transitions between both sides of the ether; the overall flow is hypnotic and mechanical, it pulses and moves you through it as opposed to requiring you to be in the mood to experience it, it really does draw you in quickly.
“Monastery” continues in the dissonant distorted funeral fuzz of the other two tracks, but the warping of some of the melodies breaks through the density of almost oily and murky damp night air and weighs in heavily on the soul. The background funereal synth/organ gives the added effect of time slowing down as you plunder into some dimension far removed from life and all things in between call towards you in warning as you pass.
The purpose of reviews is to be honest, and to even make my decision on this one I called upon advice from a few people who have no clue and some that do to clarify the Xasthur comparison, and from all sides it’s official: “The sound is similar on the surface, but Moon is heavier and deeper in sound, rhythm and overall atmosphere.” I really hope to hear this act again and where develops take them, so don’t it write it off too soon. Definitely a must for fans of the atmospheric, occult, dark-ambient, experimental realms, but don’t expect anything symphonic, melodic or polished as this album does redefine and capture the essence of something inhuman and lost.