(7/10) Portuguese dark metal powerhouse Moonspell released a few weeks ago their twelfth longplayer. „1755“ is the title of this album that shows Moonspell from another angle. The newest output from Portugal’s finest is a concept album with the devastating earthquake from 1755 being the thematically center piece. „1755“ aims for reflecting the entire impact of such a force of nature in ten new songs.
A glimpse on the tracklist shows the first difference to other Moonspell releases. The entire album is kept in Portuguese which fits very well to the topic, but also makes it difficult to follow this dramatic story line. Therefor let‘s focus on the music that has to do the job.
„Em Nomen Do Medo“ is the starting point. Being dark and oppressive, the tune is an intro to this musical interpretation of a natural disaster. Bombast and drama are already a substantial element of the opener, leading you to the title track „1755“, which is a heavy song with a cinematic expression, mainly due to the choir that‘s included in this number.
Moonspell uses orchestral elements and the mentioned choir to increase the intensity of the newest longplayer and they succeed. „1755“ comes with an impressive density which is also an achievement of the production, done by no less than the well-known Tue Madsen.
All the mentioned describes a longplayer that gets out of the speakers very well, but I also have to say that the five piece band had already stronger releases in the past. Moonspell had always great songs that have been part of the earlier releases (like „Await” and „Opium“) but also the last album „Extinct“ comprised more than one true highlight being part of the tracklist.
„1755“ is in this context different. The album can be seen as a Gesamtkunstwerk but misses real highlights with a few songs that stick out a bit. It almost feels like Moonspell got lost in bombast, frills and details. Less would have been more. Even though there are with „Ruínas“ and „Abanão“ two tracks that get closer to the highlights of the predecessors, these numbers are in general more the exception than the rule.
Moonspell doesn‘t listen to the echoes of the past and decided to go for a partly new approach with „1755“. The ten songs include the typical Moonspell trademarks and showcase a successful endeavour that still has some room for improvement. „1755“ is a good album, but Moonspell has better ones in their impressive discography.
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Dark Metal
Release Date EU: November 3rd, 2017
Here comes a first new song from Portuguese dark metal outfit Moonspell. The tune is taken from the upcoming album "1755" which will be released on November 3rd via Napalm Records.
backPortugal's Dark Metal pioneers in Moonspell are finally back with a brand new and hotly anticipated album, titled '1755'. Set to be released on November 3rd 2017 on Napalm Records, this record will outclass all standards you have ever heard from Moonspell before!
From the first second the conceptual dramaturgy Moonspell have created feels like a detonation of the mind. '1755' is more than just the band's new magnum opus: It's the musical version of the year of horror where a giant earthquake wrecked their home Lisbon. Naturally this album comes and is sung in Portuguese. The album, produced by Tue Madsen ( (Meshuggah, The Haunted, Dark Tranquility, Dir En Grey, Die Apokalyptischen Reiter ) also features Paulo Bragança, supplying a hauntingly voice of a Fado fallen angel who is a big part of the Portuguese culture. His fascinating vocals are featured in "In Tremor Dei" (eng.: "Fear Of God").
Now the band fronted by the soul of dark art and visionary Fernando Ribeiro unveiled first details about '1755' and unleash the stunning cover artwork as well as the album track list!
“I have been fascinated with Portuguese history since I can remember. The year of 1755 marked the birth of a new Portugal. Much more than just the greatest natural disaster ever to occur on European soil, the great Lisbon Quake, shockwaves can not be reduced to a dramatic death toll. From absolute tragedy, a new city was born, giving way to a new time where Portuguese relied more on themselves than on the crown or the cross, granting us, much of the city, the lay country, the free will that we enjoy today. This is not just another album from us. It’s a musical and lyrical History document, a homage we pay to our legacy and to the amazing skills and resilience of our fellow Portuguese back then, of all mankind when brought down to the knees by the violent forces of Nature and Reason. Whatever is, is right... yet the earth shakes."
The track list of '1755' will read as follows:
1. Em Nome Do Medo
3. In Tremor Dei ( featuring Portuguese guest vocalist Paulo Bragança! )
7. 1 De Novembro
9. Todos Os Santos
10. Lanterna Dos Afogados
Moonspell is currently on pre-production with Jon Phipps (orchestralmetal.com) at their home studios (Inferno) in Portugal and has recently posted online some pictures of videos of their daily work at the studio.
The album title will be "1755" and it’s a quite surprising twist of events and direction for the band. Versing the Great Lisbon Earthquake (1755), the band has developed a lyrical concept that looks into the death and rebirth of Lisbon and how the disaster changed Religion, Politics and Philosophy in the whole of Europe. The surprise is that the album will be fully sung in Portuguese!
What was supposed to be just a 4-song bonus for the "Lisboa Under the Spell" DVD/BluRay (recorded last February in Lisbon with 4000 wild fans attending, to be released in 2018) evolved into a full length album that will be produced by Tue Madsen (Antfarm Studios, DK) who worked with the band in a few previous releases.
In the band’s own words, Fernando explains:
“We fell in love with the concept and made perfect sense to sing it in our national language, Portuguese. I guess we were just waiting for the right opportunity to work on such an album. Musically it will be heavier than Extinct. It will be earthshaking but also very detailed with orchestrations and percussion as we want people to relive the Lisbon of the 18th century. Singing it in Portuguese, allowed me to find a different expression as a vocalist and my job is to be the survivor of the Earthquake, roaming the ruins and telling you all about it.”
Some news for my Austrian readers. There is a new festival coming up this summer called "Metal on the Hill". The event will take place in Graz, Austria and it is the area of the Schlossberg that creates the scenery for this metal indoor show/open air. The locations are actually pretty cool and the line-up isn't too bad either.
It's a two days festival with the following bands being confirmd already:
12.08.2016 Dom am Berg (DevilDriver, Drescher, Jinjer, Tuxedoo)
13.08.2016 Kasemattenbuehne (Arch Enemy, Satyricon, Lacuna Coil, Moonspell + 3 more TBC)
After the first leg of the European tour with Septicflesh Portuguese Moonspell are coming back again for more shows. Here are the dates for autumn this year:
March 13 was falling on a Friday this year. What a great date for having a show with Moonspell and Septicflesh, supported by Spartan. The Patronaat in Haarlem hosted this power package that was a surety for excellent metal.
It was up to Spartan from Haarlem to kick off that night. Their death metal fitted very well into the evening and they did a good job by preparing the stage for the bands to come. After the show one of the fans welcome his friends with a "You missed the best band." I wouldn't go that far but it was a solid set from the locals.
Then it was time for Septicflesh. It was the first time that I have seen the Greek black metal institition live. Therefore I was really curious about the live show, esp. since the last longplayer "Titan" was a very good one.
The four-piece from Athens had with "War in heaven" an excellent start into the show. They had a pretty good sound from the first moment on and hammered the song into the crowd that appreciated the raw power spread by the band. Covered in a mystic dark/blue stage light Septicflesh focussed on tracks from "Titan" embedded in some classics from earlier releases like the mighty "Anubis" and "Cumminion" from the album of the same name.
I was impressed by the 60 minutes long show that was also very much appreciated by the fans of Moonspell as well. This isn't a given since their music is slightly different.
All in all it was a delicate hour of harsh black metal that was a sonic gate to the 'South of heaven'.
Time for the headliner on Friday 13. Moonspell entered the stage with a first highlight. The opener "Breathe (Until we are no more)" from the current record "Extinct" was chosen to start a 90 minutes long gig of metal and darkness. Followed by the title track and the 1996 classics "Opium" and "Awake" the start couldn't have been better. The Patronaat became a madhouse. Having those tracks in the backhand made the statement from singer Fernando Ribeiro to a kind of understatement when he said, that "some bands come to play their hits. But since we don't have hits we just play songs". If those tracks are 'just' songs I don't even want to know how hits would sound. An impressive start into the show of the Portugese five-piece was guaranteed anyhow.
At that stage I also have to mention the sound. Moonspell got an excellent sound too. Considering that this was the second show on the current leg of the European tour a formidable fact.
The focus of the show was on the new album - of course. But the band also played quite some highlights from the debut "Wolfheart". The album has its 20 years anniversary and tracks like "Wolfshade (A werewolf masquerade)" and "Vamperia" are still great songs that show the rawness of the early days. I have seen the band for the first time in 1995 in Ulm, Germany when they opened for Tiamat and I must say that 20 years later songs like the mighty "Almar mater" even gained over time.
The only song I missed was the brutal "Alpha noir" from the last release. Buy OK, this was something I could live with.
I haven't seen any disappointing show from the Portuguese band over all those years and also the gig in Haarlem didn't change this. Moonspell got mature over the last twenty years and found their sound without becoming predictable.
And as a funny sidenote it was Moonspell that included almost more 'snow' in their show than the Dutch winter had to offer.
Great band, great songs, great sound = great night.
Location: Patronaat, Haarlem, The Netherlands
Right in time for the tour start Moonspell posted a new video. "Extinct" is the name of the song that is the title track from the newest longplayer of the band from Southern Europe. Cool song.
(8/10) 1995, Neu-Ulm, Germany, Arts & Crafts. Tiamat was on tour in Europe and had a young metal band from Portugal chosen to be their support. Moonspell was their name and I haven't heard about them before. However, probably good metal was my thought and let's give them the benefit of the doubt.
Since that moment on I'm following Moonspell. The guys played a fantastic show and it was a challenge for Tiamat to not get under the wheels.
In 1995 the band promoted their debut "Wolfheart". Now we are 20 years further down the road (hey, an anniversary) and five-piece band has a new album ready to be released. "Extinct" is the name and it comes with ten songs.
"Extinct" sounds different than the predecessor. "Alpha noir" was one of the most heaviest records that the Brandoa-placed group released. To balance their heavy side they added the more silent and acoustic "Omega white" to it.
On the new longplayer Moonspell is surprisingly melodic. The dark and gothic side becomes more dominant and it's not that much about heaviness only. Don't get me wrong here. They still burned all their trademarks on "Extinct". But they have more moments when their influences from bands like Sisters OF Mercy comes to the forefront. "Medusalem" is a good example herefore. Also "Funeral bloom" has those influences and belongs to the really good tracks on the album.
A real highlight is the title song. This tune brings together melancholy, hard riffs and melodic vocal lines (in bridge and chorus) in an excellent way. This song has the potential to become a timeless hit of the band - like "Opium", "Mephisto" and "Alpha noir".
"Domina" is a more soulful song. A kind of half ballad. A great piece and it seems to be a quite senseful 'domina'.
"The future is dark" comes with a great melody. The song is kept more silent, has a hypnotic beat and a beautifully soft guitar solo. After this 'light' track "La baphomette" closes the album. It's a less than 3 minutes long tune that could be the soundtrack for a funeral march. Slow, acoustic, some horns, a choir, kept in minor = deep sadness. It is the perfect counterpart to some other tracks on "Extinct".
The new longplayer is another excellent album that the Portuguese band adds to their discography. After twenty years of Moonspell I can say that they never disappointed me. Thumbs up and I'm looking forward to see them live in a few days.
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Dark Metal
Here comes a first preview from the upcoming Moonspell album. Good stuff is on its way.