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Moonspell - Night Eternal

Label: SPV
Format: CD
Released: 2008
Reviewed By: The Goat
Ever eat a really good meal? Like a meal that was so incredibly delicious that you could feel the pleasure centers of your brain lighting up? Then, the experience of being so full but not that bloated full, that full of absolute sheer joy and relaxation?

OK, keep this mental experience and image in mind.
The new Moonspell is exactly like eating that meal. This is the album, I swear or I'll eat my camo shorts, that will bring Moonspell the respect and the acclaim that they so sorely deserve. If you are a Moonspell fan, well be prepared to be left in awe. If you are unfamiliar with Moonspell, well this is most certainly the album to get and then, while you're at it, pick up “Sin Pecado,” another excellent album.

“Night Eternal” opens with the most incredibly heavy and dark song (At Tragic Heights) I have yet to hear by them. It is quite reminiscent of opening to Nevermore opus, Dreaming Neon Black. Yet, this is where the comparison between these two bands ends. Moonspell is a solidly gloomier, darker, deathier band than Nevermore. While both have the same appreciation for dark themes and introspective concepts, Moonspell have this Mediterranean exoticism to them. The best way to fully understand this idea is imagine if Pete Steele of Type O Negative had a Portuguese instead of New Yawk accent and was backed by Nevermore, with a few Dimmu-isms in the mix. This is what Moonspell 2008 sounds like.

The title track is even more merciless. It is a rumbling, double bass stampede of an ever opening maw of apocalyptic proportions. Fernando Ribeiro's voice is as deep as the abyss the music is arriving from. The guitar leads in the title track will have the most accomplished guitarist salivating at their complexity. The song then veers into an almost Fear factory-like industrial stomp, which is most unexpected and works far better than it sounds on paper (or computer screen).

There is something about this album that has a hypnotic quality to it. This is most apparent on “Shadow Sun.” It starts off deceptively mellow with a chant-like vocals and a tribal like quality. As the song takes off, it feels as though your soul is being torn apart but in the happiest way possible. There is a subtle snaking Middle Eastern vibe that languidly rolls through the song which adds a certain urgency to the song. Yet, it is a devastating song which ends with Ribeiro chanting “Life is Meaningless.”

Not to ruin the whole album with further analysis, one last track must be mentioned. “Scorpion Flower” is the most incredibly Romantic and dark song Moonspell has ever done which has Ribeiro singing a duet. Now, on my promo it does not mention who he is singing the song with but it sounds like he is singing with either Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) or Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-Gathering). It sends chills up my spine. This song will certainly make any doom goth metal fan sing along and most assuredly be a crowd favorite.

Bottomline, Moonspell's “Night Eternal” is a phenomenal album. I've been a fan of Moonspell for a long time and I've seen them swing back and forth with amazing and not-so amazing albums. “Night Eternal” will cement them in the big time for certain. If not, I promise I will eat my camo shorts.
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