Moonspell is one of those bands i never got into, maybe it’s because it goes for the slower and orchestra arranged Gothic/Doom, that i’ve never embraced, anyhow they did made a couple of great albums, actually being Wolfheart my favorite (can’t really pinpoint why, maybe because it was the first and therefore the one that had the strongest impact for me…), that was 1995, a couple of years have passed and we have a new album, “Memorial” is here and what a pleasure it is.
There seems to be a shift on Moonspell, sure it still goes for the Doom/Goth approach, it still has that Moonspell trademark sound, it still goes for those Gothic melodies, but the sound is harsher, the vocals are harsher, its heavier, approaching the power/speed realms of Death/Black Metal than the murkiness slow drive of Doom/Goth (yeah it does look like i love Doom/Goth), its quite…refreshing, from the single “Finisterra” you can actually see what has changed, more pummeling drumming, more growling, niceeeee, is it a great song… well not good, not great, its a bit simplistic, and with little arrangements for a Moonspell song, but it sure gives a clear sign of intentions.
Continuing with the album, it just keeps getting better, songs like “Memento Mori”, with its Goth meets Death, or the catchy Doom Rock with “Blood Tells”, there are plenty more with “Sanguine”‘s trademark whispers with all out Goth Metal or maybe the out of nowhere electro goth of “Proliferation” what in the hell?, i feel my balls tingling, this is great stuff, “Once it Was Ours” is also such an atmospheric show, delightfull, you even have some treats, like a “straight out of the can” Goth from “Luna” with it’s “oh so sexy” clean female vocals, the album ends with “Best Forgotten” and its quite the finishing tune, damm it’s one of those tracks you listen a entire album just to listen to it, it has all what made this album what it is.
Moonspell for sure surprised me, from latter efforts, production and songwriting were always first rate, but this one at least for me is flawless, musically speaking it’s not perfect but this turn to a more aggressive sound, i think, more than made up for it, it sure feels good listening to it, even with some interludes, everything is balanced, and you can listen to it in one go and enjoy it as a whole, great work from Portugal’s greatest metal band, if your into Doom, Goth, Death…HELL if your into Metal this one is a keeper.
Moonspell – Finisterra