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78 tablatures for Moonspell


Moonspell - Darkness And Hope (7,5/10) - Portugal - 2001

Genre: Gothic Metal
Label: Century Media
Playing time: 51:34
Band homepage: Moonspell

Tracklist:

  1. Darkness And Hope
  2. Firewalking
  3. Nocturna
  4. Heartshaped Abyss
  5. Devilred
  6. Ghostsong
  7. Rapaces
  8. Made Of Storm
  9. How We Became Fire
  10. Than The Serpents In My Arms
  11. Os Senhores Da Guerra
Moonspell - Darkness And Hope
After the Portuguese band has flopped considerably with "Sin/Pecado" and even more with "The Butterfly Effect" the announcement of the band returning into the direction of their two classics "Wolfheart" and "Irreligious" made me curious and sceptical at the same time...

Curious, because I still love these two albums, sceptical, because it is a little strange that a band suddenly remembers its roots after such a crass change of styles, but let's go to the decisive factor - the music.

Well, at least to my ears it has turned out pretty split, because some of the compositions again breathe the dark atmosphere of their early career, while others still feature those strange soundscapes that made the past two albums so unappealing to me. After title-track is a little reserved on the guitar-side, but finds a good centre-way between the "old" and "new" MOONSPELL, "Firewalking" convinces from the beginning, with dark atmosphere, crunchy guitars and variable vocals, re-awakening memories of songs like "Opium" et al, if with a slightly more modern touch to the sound. "Nocturna" sees reduced heaviness again and contains this modern foundation, which reminds me more of "Sin/Pecado", but still it fits the dark title.

A portion of modern Gothic Metal is what "Heartshaped Abyss" is offering us next, containing the catchiness of the currently hip acts of this style, while "Devilred" is almost alarmingly heavy compared to the two tracks before it, pure Gothic Metal on the rough side of the river of Styx. In crass contrast to this stands the following "Ghostsong", which is a good bit more modern, with an almost balladesque character, shouldn't have been placed directly after "Devilred"... "Rapaces" continues this, the track could just as well have stood on "The Butterfly Effect", despite the sometimes rougher vocals, and sounds like a mixture of the Gothic Rock of the Eighties, an operatic voice and the sound-experiments of just that album, leaving a kind of disoriented feel, which is a pity, because the track really has potential! "Made Of Storm" only partly can make up for this, because again the Lusitans are squandering in the modern rhythms and lose a lot of dynamics and flow, that they are able to get it right is shown by the straight and catchy chorus, but that is just not enough...

"How We Became Fire" again falls into the category "could have stood on 'The Butterfly Effect'", so I will skip to "Than The Serpents In My Arms", which is straighter again, not Metal, but with a far more round and homogenous arrangement, which cleverly spans the bridge between darkness and accessibility. And the closing "Os Senhores Da Guerra" is completely in Portuguese and sounds quite epic and dark, broadly arranged, almost orchestral towards the end.

They sound mature, no doubt, Fernando Ribeiro's voice is absolutely characteristic and gives the songs its very own touch, also fans of the early works could feel more appealed again, but still it's neither fish nor fowl...

Overall I am not sure, what I should think of "Darkness And Hope". Should it have been the intention of MOONSPELL to win back some older fans again and at the same time keep the newer ones, so this could just as easily backfire, if the older fans have lost their interest in the current MOONSPELL and the newer ones don't like the heavier material, a walk on the razor's edge. The beginning has been very promising, but after the middle they dramatically lose momentum and they fall back into the modern experimentialism of the last two albums, only the last two tracks again find the connection to the beginning of the album...

Alexander Melzer



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