You could call them Gothic metal pioneers, the Portuguese guys from Moonspell. Having been around for almost twenty-two years. After having released ten full-length albums, they now grace us with a new record: ‘Extinct’.
Gothic and symphonic have always been one of my favorite corners of the Metal cellar. Yet, somehow, I never got into Moonspell. No one in my direct surroundings ever said to me, “Dude, you got to hear this, its killer!” and I blame them for that. Because this is an amazing band.
Way back into the 1990’s Moonspell was a black/folk like band, maybe somewhat pagan. But after their debut ‘Wolfheart’ they decided to get into the more symphonic, Gothic kind of metal. Without giving up on the melancholic and dark lyrical themes.
One thing is very strange to begin with. Although the band is somewhat dark en melancholic, the music is not always like that. There are moments that, if altered, could even be a pop-song. I’m talking about the refrain of the title song ‘Extinct’.
The track ‘Funeral Bloom’ is quite two-faced to be honest. The refrain states “It’s time to lay her down, ashes to ashes. Time to cover the world in Funeral Bloom!”. But the way it’s played is not sad and depressing at all. The riffs are quite high and the amazing suave voice of Fernando Ribeiro makes this one of the catchiest and best songs on the album. Only the lyrics and the grunts remind us of the darker side of the band.
Also, the entire fourth song ‘Medusalem’ is kind of happy tuned. Probably because of the Arabian themed sound that is has. While the lyrics are mostly very dark and depressing. This doesn’t make a bad album though. It’s just something that struck me after listening a couple of times.
This album lacks nothing, it’s one solid and creative record that will probably please a lot of symphonic fans out there. Sporadic grunts give a great, heavier edge to some songs, while the brilliant clean vocals of Ribeiro grace the entire album with an amazing sound.
But most albums have one or more “less good” tracks, and so Moonspell has those too. It’s only one song though: ‘The Future Is Dark’. Somehow it lacks the ability to stick with you and with a semi-ballad you want that though. Too soft, sweet and unconvincing, that’s the way I’d label it.
Closer ‘La Baphomette’ is one strange creation. It’s sung in French, with a typical French, black and white movie, feel. The slightly low, growling and panting vocals remind me of what Rammstein’s Till Lindeman can do so well. It finishes the album in a brilliant manner.
So in the end we have this amazing band that has been around for quite some time. After a lot of praise they are back with more of the delicious Gothic and melancholic metal. With almost every song above average, these guys can hit the road again with a load of amazing new material. I’m curious about their performance all-right. Maybe I’ll give them a visit.
Released: 6 March 2015
Record-label: Napalm Records
- Breathe (Untill We Are No More)
- The Last Of Us
- Funeral Bloom
- A Dying Breed
- The Future Is Dark
- La Baphomette