Moonspell - Alpha Noir / Omega White review
|Album:||Alpha Noir / Omega White|
|Release date:||April 2012|
Disc I [Alpha Noir]
01. Axis Mundi
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]
02. White Skies
04. New Tears Eve
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.
Written on 08.09.2012 by
I shoot people.
Sometimes, I also write about it.
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