The start is dark, is uncommon. Dark keyboards with the voice of a muezzin, followed by rhythmic Arabic melodies and double-bass-drums... This is the start to the first official musical life-sign of the most probably most successful and best-known Portuguese Metal-band of all times: "Under The Moonspell" by MOONSPELL.
Contrary to their middle era they are more deeply rooted in Black Metal, yet from the very start they strayed from the common standards. They used keyboards, melodies were lent from Folk, vocally fronter Fernando Ribeiro (back then still going under his full nome du guerre Langsuyar Tenebrarum Rex) also shows his wide range, from Death over Black Metal to theatrical, deep and clear vocals.
The special thing of this mini-album had been that throughout the songs they used some quotations from the Arabic music, implemented into their dark and melodic Black Metal, which never had been real Black Metal, at least not in the common sense. Far too varied and deep have been the compositions of the six Lusitans, in which also acoustic guitars were used to give the songs a new twist, where needed.
As prime example for this I can name "Tenebrarum Oratorium II", where you can find everything from fast Black Metal over powerful mid-tempo-parts to intensive and calmer passages with clear male and female vocals, everything you could expect or hope for of a song of this sub-genre, not least because of the purely Arabic/traditional ending of the track!
Sure, not everything that glittered had been gold, but you could very clearly sense the immense potential of these Portuguese guys, who feels appealed by the described mix or just wants to discover the roots of MOONSPELL, "Under The Moonspell" is all yours!