Rating:
N/A
Moonspell - Alpha Noir / Omega White
27 April 2012


Disc I [Alpha Noir]
01. Axis Mundi
02. Lickanthrope
03. Versus
04. Alpha Noir
05. Em Nome Do Medo
06. Opera Carne
07. Love Is Blasphemy
08. Grand Stand
09. Sine Missione

Disc II [Omega White]
01. Whiteomega
02. White Skies
03. Fireseason
04. New Tears Eve
05. Herodisiac
06. Incantatrix
07. Sacrificial
08. A Greater Darkness


Moonspell have tried to pull off an Opeth.

Allow me to explain. If you hold a single disc version of this album in your hands, you wouldn't know what I'm talking about. It is essential and vitally important that, if at all, you get a bonus disc version of this album. Now, Opeth's Deliverance and Damnation pair are one of the best examples of polar albums released back to back, two different sides of the same coin, one album focusing on heavy, the other on the mellow side of the band's music. To some extent, Moonspell have done the same.

Over the course of their career Moonspell have been floating between black metal and gothic rock back and forth. Because of that a new album is always a bit of a blind deal, which ever way you like your Moonspell. Personally, I feel Memorial and Night Eternal have been more a miss than a hit. And as two cases is enough to make an admittedly poor statistical analysis, I wasn't laying too much hope on this release.

When I put Alpha Noir on, I wasn't really impressed. It was Moonspell all right but I felt it trod too much on the same paths as the previous two albums. However, as the album progressed I started revising my initial impression. It's really got some pretty good riffs and a good drive to go along with them. Some defining elements I've come to like in Moonspell resurfaced, or became more prominent and noticeable again, and with occasional Therionesque turn of sound it became appealing to me more and more. The midsection of the album started looking great, though I was the most affected by the grand sounding closing instrumental "Sine Missione." Big sounding piece, that one.

While still undecided what to think of Alpha Noir I knew that more of the same would kill any joy I found in the album. My jaw pretty much literally dropped when Omega White started playing. It was so unexpected and so right to the point. It was the side of Moonspell I've dearly missed in recent times. It was gothic rock in all its beauty and glory, all its clichés and faults, its dark airy atmosphere and easy going nature, occasional cheesy keys and Fernando's deep singing. Against all reason, it sounded so bloody brilliant I had trouble actually listening to the album.

So, there you go. A parallel to Opeth, with both sides of the coin in a single package. What bothers me, however, is that two discs together don't balance too well. While I've come to like Alpha Noir more since the first listen, it doesn't have as many stand out qualities as Omega White. In this respect, Opeth's pair feel far more equal to me. In the end, though, it's not too bad. And Moonspell have managed to catch me by surprise. An album's worth of gothic rock was really the least I was expecting from them at present. Well played, Moonspell. Really, well played.


Band profile: Moonspell
Album: Alpha Noir / Omega White


 



Written on 08.09.2012 by
Ivor
I shoot people.

Sometimes, I also write about it.
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Daniell - 09.09.2012 at 00:47  
Alpha Noir - utter crap. Omega White - good stuff.

I can't believe that such a good band as Moonspell can't tell which songs are crap and which are decent. Or maybe they can, since they put all shitty ones on the first CD. but why the fuck did they release such such shit?

One of the most cryptic ideas this year, no doubt.
Lit. - 09.09.2012 at 02:55  
One Opeth is bad enough.
Darkside Momo - 09.09.2012 at 03:32  
Written by Daniell on 09.09.2012 at 00:47

Alpha Noir - utter crap. Omega White - good stuff.

I can't believe that such a good band as Moonspell can't tell which songs are crap and which are decent. Or maybe they can, since they put all shitty ones on the first CD. but why the fuck did they release such such shit?

One of the most cryptic ideas this year, no doubt.

I wouldn't be as harsh as you, but for sure Omega White is vastly superior, no doubt about it
LeChron James - 09.09.2012 at 06:02  
That cover art is completely baffling.

"Sup bitch, can you see out of this knight's helmet?"
"No slut, these Moonspell assholes made the eyeholes entirely too small."
Modulator - 09.09.2012 at 07:20  
I don't like either one of them!
"Omega White" is slightly better which doesn't say much.
The last really good Moonspell release was "The Antidote"!
frankeli - 09.09.2012 at 09:51  
Alpha and Omega. Two (or one) great albums. No doubt about that.
Slayer666 - 09.09.2012 at 10:46  
Damn. This is probably one of the very few staff reviews I agree with to the letter. Ivor pretty much vocalized my own thoughts, that Alpha Noir grows on you after a while, but still isn't particularly great and Omega White surely is quite awesome.
BloodTears - 09.09.2012 at 11:17  
I also prefer Omega White and I have given it more attention because of that, slightly ignoring Alpha Noir for that reason. I don't think it's crap though, it has good stuff in it, but if it was just Alpha Noir without Omega White, this wouldn't be as good.

I'm happy Moonspell can still pull off albums like Omega White after all these years. And Alpha Noir is a reflection of what they have become in the last few years.
LocalStranger - 09.09.2012 at 14:07  
I agree with the review. I miss Sin (Pecado) times of Moonspell. Omega White brings some of that back again.
Delamortia - 09.09.2012 at 14:28  
Omega White is much more memorable than Alpha Noir.
However, they were named so ridiculously. If you have Alpha and Omega, then why Noir should go with White? WTF, why wasn't it something like Blanc?
jadawal - 09.09.2012 at 17:24  
Written by Delamortia on 09.09.2012 at 14:28

Omega White is much more memorable than Alpha Noir.
However, they were named so ridiculously. If you have Alpha and Omega, then why Noir should go with White? WTF, why wasn't it something like Blanc?


probably because it sounds cooler
Coolingsrock - 09.09.2012 at 20:03  
Written by Delamortia on 09.09.2012 at 14:28

Omega White is much more memorable than Alpha Noir.
However, they were named so ridiculously. If you have Alpha and Omega, then why Noir should go with White? WTF, why wasn't it something like Blanc?


They are probably Acadiens (Acadians), which speak a french but every 2nd or 3rd word is english.
AndMetalForAll - 09.09.2012 at 21:31  
Disagree with the idea that Alpha Noir is shit, between both discs, Omega White is definitely better than the first disc. Omega White is actually very good when you think of it, the entire album is very consistent. Alpha Noir has two or three songs that are good, but the rest isn't on the level that I expected Moonspell could reach.
Jeeers - 09.09.2012 at 22:59  
Both disks doesn't impress me much - after majestic (in my opinion) "Night Eternal" they sound a bit boring. What a pity!
Padre - 11.09.2012 at 12:46  
Finally! I thought I was the only one to think that Night Eternal was a miss. Actually, I think NE was the worst Moonspell album since... wait, ever. It's just so bland, boring, uninspired, like if it's all B-sides from Memorial (an okay album). I mean, I'm a huge Moonspell fan and I have trouble remembering the order of the songs on NE.

As for AN/OW, I think it's an incredible improvement. The songs sound fresh, catchy, like if the band members had more fun recording them. I'd say Alpha Noir is the superior album here with only one less-than-great song (Lickanthrope). Every other song here could easily be a highlight of any previous Moonspell album (quality-wise). On the other hand, I think 'Omega White' is much more filler material. What 'breaks' it (apart from the stellar Whiteomega and A Greater Darkness) are the female vocals. I believe it's very difficult to put a female singer in a metal band and not end up with a complete cheesefest. Moonspell try it from time to time and it rarely works. What we usually get is the crappy 'Luna' chorus or the utterly terrible 'Raven Claws'. It's no different here - the Crystal Mountain Singers raise the cheese factor but offer little in return. Seriously, 'Herodisiac' is such a good song, it starts great, but then the chorus starts and the good impression flies out the window.

Still, I enjoy AN/OM and consider it a step in the right direction. What I would personally wish for is to blend more clean (male!) vocals into the AN framework. In other words, more Irreligious-Antidote era Moonspell, please!
blackmamba - 13.09.2012 at 06:42  
Both are good albums
peggazuzz - 13.09.2012 at 11:23  
Alpha Noir is the worst album since Butterfly effect, Omega White is arguably the best. I like the concept of having a hard album and a soft, but Alpha is just boring. Moonspell without the gothic, majestic elements just makes them another black/thrash metal band and there are hundreds of bands doing this better then them. Furthermore, I find it baffling that they choose to solely include Omega on a limited edition, rendering it unavailable for a lot of people?? It would be more natural if they released it as a separate album. I for one, will not rate this album as one. Alpha is 5 and Omega is an 8.
onedh - 25.09.2012 at 01:18  
Excellent album.
Vonpire - 02.11.2012 at 15:48  
Agree
Morphis - 08.07.2013 at 02:22  
One of the best double CD ever.
Blasphemer1992 - 09.08.2013 at 22:23  
As for me "Alpha Noir" sounds better than "Omega White". The second one sounds a little bit too sweet for me. But I must admit that I miss Memorial/Irreligious atmosphere

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