“Memorial” by Moonspell

Artist: Moonspell
Title: “Memorial”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 4/25/2006
Genre: Gothic Metal
Rating: 5/5

In the genre of true Gothic Metal, there is no better band to bring it to the table than Moonspell. Heralded as the most successful Portuguese band ever, they return to us after a couple of year’s absence from album releases with “Memorial” – it is an album that holds you in its dark grip from beginning to end without question. Musically this effort is one of the strongest I have heard from the Gothic Metal sector in my times observing the genre and to the bands credit, working with producer Waldemar Sorychta (Lacuna Coil, Sentenced, Tiamat) was probably the smartest thing they could have done with this album. Gloomy and intense instrumental intros lead you into a thunderous display of musical power that is so dramatic you feel as though you are listening to a horror movie put to music. “Finisterra” and “Mememto Mori” and among my favorite numbers along with “Sanguine” as they especially deal with darker subject matter and are written it would seem by Darkness itself. Leader Fernando is mesmerizing across the length of the album and as each song plays you can almost envision him atop a moonlit mountain as mists and other workings of the midnight sky happen all around him.

Another track with heavy appeal is “Luna” which has a mostly clean vocal from Fernando along with the haunting voice of Brigit Zacher. Moonspell have outdone themselves with this recording and I feel that those who have only sampled the band before do themselves justice and grab a copy of “Memorial”. While it is not the bands first effort, it is very clearly their best to date. This will be an album that true Gothic Metal is gauged and rated against so other bands who deliver this aspect of the genre will do well to study it. I think the main part of the records appeal is the fact that it does not totally follow the Gothic definition by being overly depressing and melancholy. The keyboard use and the deeper clean vocals and guitar chord structure make the Gothic vibe come to life, but the album is also very energetic, heavy and darker than the abyss. A lyric and photo booklet is included which will serve to enrapture you more into the midnight world of Moonspell. This is an album for all fans of Atmospheric, Dark, Progressive and Gothic Metal. It’s a winner from beginning to………………End.

Track List:
1. In Memoriam
2. Finisterra
3. Memento Mori
4. Sons Of Earth
5. Blood Tells
6. Upon The Blood Of Men
7. At The Image Of Pain
8. Sanguine
9. Proliferation
10. Once It Was Ours!
11. Mare Nostrum
12. Luna
13. Best Forgotten
14. Atlantic – bonus

Official Web site: www.moonspell.com

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