Moonspell - 1755 - (9/10)
Published on December 19, 2017
Portugal’s Moonspell remain as reliable as they are unpredictable by mostly staying Moonspell whatever they do, yet always being a candidate for springing a surprise or two on their fans. They proved it when they came completely out of left field with The Butterfly Effect before slowly returning to a more “traditional” sound, but while their experimental side was somewhat dormant in the years to come, one pretty much expected that something more was to come, just not when. 1755 is without a doubt their most ambitious album to date, in several ways. For one it is their first concept album, detailing the happenings of the great earthquake hitting Lisbon and area in that year, for two it is the first album completely in Portuguese and for three it features the biggest symphonic element they ever attempted.
What also is striking is the almost complete absence of Fernando Ribeiro’s clear voice, which always had been such a characteristic element in the band’s sound and it does hurt the overall impressions, the extended use of choirs, though, is a definitive plus, yet one can’t help but feel like they could have gotten even more out of this album, which is being dubbed their “magnum opus”.
Moonspell’s element of surprise hat been latently there throughout their career and with 1755 sees a major resurgence. It might throw fans of the last few albums off a bit more than usual, though, because quite a few of the songs are far less immediately accessible, but that does (or rather should) not detract from 1755 being a very interesting album that ensures Moonspell do not tread creative water and are not afraid to take some risks, it might just take a bit longer to open up.