Friday, August 29, 2008

MOONSPELL - Night Eternal CD Review

MOONSPELL - Night Eternal CD
SPV Records

The latest release by these Portuguese metallers is bleak, black and pleasantly Gothic. In other words it has the best of many extreme genres going for it, without sounding confused or experimental. But don't let the opening intro scare you off thinking maybe I need to be in Halloween garb to fully enjoy this disc. Once the the cut, "At Tragic Heights" kicks into gear with Fernando Ribeiro's bellows like vocals taking control. You'll be in your dark happy place. The keyboards swirl around pummeling cluster bomb drum explosions and guitar pyrotechnics throughout. Once the title cut hits you'll understand that this is a carefully crafted release. Musically this is like a murder mystery novel with plot twists on every other page. Once you
think that you've got the storyline down pat. Another surprise hits you square in the face.

After being pounded down by the blackened death spell of the first three cuts. "Scorpian Flower" comes out of the cemetery gates sounding like 69 EYES plus Fernado Ribeiro shares vocals with ex-GATHERING vocalist, Anneke van Giersbergan. But the Gothic interlude is very short. "Moon in Mercury" pulls you back out of the grave for some more torture as well as cuts like "Hers in the Twilight" and "Spring of Rage". There's more Goth/Progressive melody on "Dreamless (Lucifer and Lilith) which will be a hit with the wannabe vampire sect. But once again it's so short lived that there's no reason to put on the black cape and fake fangs.

All in all this was one of the surprise releases for me this year. Also it's very short lived since it's just nine cuts in less than forty-five minutes. I have to say that the cover art threw me. Prior to pushing play I was expecting something along the lines of a blackened WITHIN TEMPTATION meets TYPE O NEGATIVE. Then again the first listen had me leaning in that direction, especially on the more traditional Gothic numbers. But after multiple plays during daytime hours I have to admit that Night Eternal channels more from the Extreme Metal isle than anywhere else.

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