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Moonspell - Memorial review

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Band: Moonspell
Album: Memorial
Release date: April 2006

Disc I [CD]
01. In Memoriam
02. Finisterra
03. Memento Mori
04. Sons Of Earth
05. Blood Tells
06. Upon The Blood Of Men
07. At The Image Of Pain
08. Sanguine
09. Proliferation
10. Once It Was Ours!
11. Mare Nostrum
12. Luna
13. Best Forgotten
14. Atlantic [Special Luxury Digipak bonus]
15. Phantom North [Portuguese bonus]

Disc II [DVD]
01. Memento Mori [Live at CC estúdio 2]
02. Blood Tells [Live at CC estúdio 2]
03. Best Forgotten [Live at CC estúdio 2]
04. In Memoriam [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
05. Finisterra [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
06. Memento Mori [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
07. Blood Tells [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
08. Proliferation [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
09. Upon The Blood of Men [Live at Vilar de Mouros Festival]
+ Finisterra [video]
+ Luna [video]
+ Making Of Finisterra [video]

The spell of the dark moon is back. Portugal's number one act returns with the anticipated "Memorial". An old fan of the band like me knows that Moonspell's motto is evolution. Thus, not two albums from them sound the same. Follow-up to 2005's "The Antidote" - which had taken a more direct approach to their music - this year's album definitely harbors the darker side of it, which will regroup fans of their darker period with enthusiasts of their more recent albums.

Pushing the influences up to including chilling backing vocals a la Dimmu Borgir on some tracks, the first picture of "Memorial" is indeed a darker album than I would have expected. But that's exactly what makes it exceptional.

Indeed, Moonspell exorcised its old demons - or rather summoned them - to blend their evil Black Metal sound with symphonic elements such as a choir and Fernando Ribeiro's vocals with a gloomy atmosphere throughout, perfectly backed up by eerie keyboards and dissonant guitar solos.

'Upon The Blood Of Men', 'Sanguine' and 'Once It was Ours' are the highlights of "Memorial". Both songs are dark and intricate but enthralling, even though 'Sanguine' could be a track from the "Opium" period of the band albeit the violins. 'Once It Was Ours' has that hypnotic quality common to some of the band's great compositions such as 'Opium' and 'Darkness And Hope'.

Also to be mentioned, 'Luna' is the most accessible song of the album. Featuring extra female vocals a la Lacuna Coil evolving in a more relaxed atmosphere than the other tracks, it holds a rather memorable melody.

A total fusion of Moonspell's musical eras with a perfect production, "Memorial" has to be held as one of this year's best releases regardless of the category.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 10
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9

Written on 26.04.2006 by Bringing you reviews of quality music and interesting questions such as:

"A picture is worth a thousand words. How many words is a song worth?"

I have only got so much patience and skills, you do the math.

Staff review by
One day your favourite band decides to change its music. They always get some new fans of course but in general the whiners win if you see what I mean and anyway I don't remember a lot combos that found an impressive success with their "new" musical orientation. Moonspell did that change too after two monumental albums, Wolfheart and Irreligious. With Sin/Pecado, the band did a radical turnover and it didn't convince me. However, they said lately that they wanted to do a real come back to their roots with their new album "Memorial". A lot of bands do that and you probably know that it is just words in general, so I was a bit doubtful. But I came the other day on their website and had the luck to listen to the sample of "Finisterra" and God it was right, at least for this song, Moonspell was back to their beginning and now that I have the album in my hand I can confirm that "Memorial" is a great album? welcome back Moonspell?

published 26.04.2006 | Comments (0)

Staff review by
The previous year at the live show of Moonspell I was there, in the front line, shouting from time to time "Tenebrarum Oratorium", someone laughed, but Moonspell had kept this song as final, I conceived this live interpretation of this great song as a birthday present because at that very day I was celebrating my 20th birthday and I gave it all during the song. I remember Fernando Ribeiro had introduced this song as a new one, I didn't get the meaning back then since it was a composition coming from their "Under The Moonspell" days, but from the very first moment "Memorial" started unleashing its nocturnal melodies the night sky became too clear, only the spell of the moon could be cast upon us and the perfume of memories from the past was alluring the atmosphere.

published 26.04.2006 | Comments (0)

Guest review by
Memorial starts off with the good ole' Moonspell feeling through an instrumental track In Memorial, but once the second track Finisterra kicks in, one can be amazed how brutal it sounds compared to their earlier work. I have heard people compare this album to Daemonarch's Hermeticum and I can see why. The album definitely has a more brutal approach and has quite a few resemblances to Wolfheart and Hermeticum, even bordering black metal at times.

published 30.05.2006 | Comments (6)

Guest review by
I can't help starting this review by stating how disappointing 2006 has been so far for me. I've been trying, I've been trying to find some really great new albums and bands but, I don't know, maybe I've just listened to so much Metal in my life that it just doesn't surprised me as much as it used to. That or maybe there really hasn't been released any truly impressive album since January.

published 27.08.2006 | Comments (12)


Comments: 1   Visited by: 40 users
21.02.2010 - 06:36
Rating: 10

Great review. This album is fantastic as all Moonspell work (except the Butterfly-FX)

I just kinda don't like Luna, all other songs are killers.

Beware the Shadows of Dusk

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