These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.
Moonspell: “Memorial” (SPV Records)
Fans of the Gothic Metal genre rejoice for 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. 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. “Luna” has a strong level of appeal for not only is a mix of clean vocal happening but there is also 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.
Nightmare: “The Dominion Gate” (Candlelight Records)
Fans of Power Metal will be chanting “Vive La France” as they jam out to France’s legendary but still widely secret masters of the Melodic. All the elements for success in the genre are under the bands command and with TDG they stand to be the next big discovered secret by a wider demographic of appreciative fans of the form. This is majestic and entertaining, technical and resounding and there is little chance for boredom as they bound from one track to the next. It’s time for them to join the charge into glory like those who came long after them. Anyone coming along?
Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 8