Night Eternal

Written by: TL on 08/05/2008 15:31:41

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the metal opera! Long did I woe the day I took upon myself the duty of covering the releases of Portugese black/doom metallers Moonspell, dreading the arrival of their releases in my mailbox and cracking jokes about them to my fellow writers. Long did they live in my mind only as the representation of pretentious metal emptyness, but then suddenly one day, the sun was gone, the sky was black, and the night ruled supreme....!!

\"Night Eternal\" is the 9th studio album from the guys in Moonspell, and if you thought my little intro there was theatrical, just wait till you hear the record. This album is the representation of my karma, coming to trample my preconceptions, kick me in the face and make me bow to the might of Moonspell, because quite frankly, the guys do pretty much everything right on this one. The album opens with threatening drums, sinister synths and a woman singing in a disturbing voice. Vocalist Fernando starts narrating like a doomsayer and then the riffs come in, building the song to majestic heights before they explode into a groove upon his first roar. The song, which by the way is named \"At Tragic Heights\", display straight off the bat the strengths of Moonspell. It\'s followed by the title track that opens with clean strings, setting a mood that characterises the album - A mood that to me seems strangely familiar.

You see the apocalyptic soundscape Moonspell\'s sound is based in will seem all too familiar to anyone who ever played Diablo 2. Remember the eerie guitars? Running around in the desert during the quest where the sun was eclipsed? From that kind of mood, Moonspell builds the titanic, relentless onslaughts of metal that harrow your senses while your mind is bound by their dark lyricism.

This isn\'t limited to this record though, as the style has been the same on the, granted, few other Moonspell albums I\'ve heard. No, what\'s special about this album is the execution of it all. As opposed to previous Moonspell records, the songs on \"Night Eternal\" seem to be in focus rather than just the sound of evil, and if you often find yourself wondering why Tue Madsen\'s name pops up everywhere, his work here should make it perfectly clear. Apart from the normal ensemble of instruments there are also choirs and numerous different synth-effect, yet the album seems to have an almost minimalistic style. Everything is at the right volume, clearly audible while never exceeding its place within the arrangements. The guitarwork, reasonably simple as it is, just seems to grow and grow and paired with the drums they give the songs the momentum of a tank. Add Fernando\'s raging roar to the equation and you\'ve got yourself some heavy hits right there.

The absolute highlights of this record however, are not when the band is at it\'s heaviest (like on \"Night Eternal\" and \"Hers Is The Twilight\"), but rather when they allow for the full extend of their melodic capabilities to grow out of the raging storm. This is most clearly shown in \"Dreamless (Lucifer And Lilith)\" and \"Scorpion Flower\", the latter including a duet between Fernando and a woman dragging your thoughts towards Nightwish, making for some truly stunning moments of dark beauty, bound to haunt your mind for days to come, opening it for further progress into the rest of the album.

Now for all my praise, if you listen to \"Night Eternal\" casually while maybe doing something else, it is unlikely to seem as that much more than what Moonspell usually has to offer, but if given full attention, trust me the album will reveal beyond any measure of doubt, the full capacity of a band that has gathered more experience within their genre than many others. It does require that you are open to gothic theatricality of grand proportions, but then if you aren\'t, that really is your loss.


Download: Dreamless, Shadow Sun, Scorpion Flower
For The Fans Of: Tristania, Theater Of Tragedy, Tiamat

Release Date 19.05.2008
SPV Records
Provided by Target ApS

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