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Moonspell - Under The Moonspell review

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Band: Moonspell
Album: Under The Moonspell
Release date: 1994

01. Allah Akbar! La Allah Ella Allah! (Praeludium / Incantatum Solstitium)
02. Tenebrarum Oratorium (Andamento I / Erudit Compendyum)
03. Tenebrarum Oratorium (Andamento II / Erotic Compendyum)
04. Opus Diabolicum (Andamento III / Instrumental Compendyum)
05. Chorai Lusitânia! (Epilogus / Incantatam Maresia)

Moonspell from Portugal, back in the first half of the 90s, didn't sound the way they sound from "Irreligious" (or even "Wolfheart") and on (in any of the soundscapes they explored, because they didn't remain static to one style but explored various ways of expression remaining always Moonspell). Their sound back then was a successful hybrid of black metal, gothic aesthetic, occult image and lyrics, Mediterranean culture and drama with an intense oriental touch making them unique from their very beginning. The lyrics move in occult fields of knowledge written in an intense poetic way, interpreted in a unique manner by Langsuyar's (a.k.a. Fernando Ribeiro) elegiac voice that whether he sings in a morbid chanting way or screams in ecstasy is utterly expressive and theatric.

The atmosphere Moonspell evoke on their first official mini-cd, "Under the Moonspell", is poetically nocturnal and of pure elegiac evil; in the intensity of the atmosphere helps also the interesting production that isn't and couldn't be the best for a new-coming band at that time, but, oddly, the way it is done makes the overall feeling even more obscure! The keyboard melodies paint the soundscape with morbid colors whereas some pure oriental moments make the atmosphere way more intense, strengthening the occult feeling that floats in the air. The guitar work is fabulous, heavier at times, paving wonderfully the way, along with the accompanying in any tempo rhythm section, for Langsuyar's deep interpretation with every single word he utters being an eclipse of the sun.

"Allah Akbar! La allah Ella Allah!" opens "Under the Moonspell" and its oriental forged in the fires of the East melodies evoke an ecstatic atmosphere setting the candles of Baphomet alight enlightening the dark pathways of the soul, leading to "Tenebrarum Oratorium Part I". The guitar work is inspired and atmosphere-evoking and the rhythm section lends groove and volume to the song with Langsuyar sounding ecstatic, feeling every single word he utters as the keyboard melodies and some female vocals flirt with his voice in nocturnal ways. Generally, the song ranges from mid-tempo parts to raging outbursts and from dark moments to oriental ones flowing wonderfully.

"Tenebrarum Oratorium Part II" lets the album flow in mystic ways as it unfolds its abysmal soundscapes through the stunning guitar riffing, the accompanying in any tempo rhythm section, the atmosphere-evoking keyboard melodies and, above all, Langusyar's haunting interpretation summoning the mother of all darkness, Lilith; of course the oriental melodies couldn't be missing since they enrich the lyrical concept and the ideal mystic atmosphere of "Under the Moonspell". The inspired lead guitars open in an appropriate way the following "Opus Diabolicum" and so it goes on in a heavy mood with some atmosphere-evoking keyboard melodies that appear at times and Langsuyar's dark recites leading slowly to the ending theme, "Choraj Lusitania", with the acoustic guitar chords and the sounds of the sea ending a night "Under the Moonspell"?

"Under the Moonspell" is a must-have album for all the Moonspell adorers, but also an album that could be purchased by black metal fans that would like to listen to something different from the average black metal releases, an album that stands on its own!

Written on 28.01.2005 by "It is myself I have never met, whose face is pasted on the underside of my mind."


Comments: 3   Visited by: 61 users
16.05.2008 - 07:07
Liver Failure
Heh.. Moonspell is funny here on MS... lots of reviews.. and very few comments xD
anyway... this album is very cool..i usually stay away from gothic or doom metal, but this one really kicks ass, kinda black and very atmospheric. Some tribal parts and lyric female vocal.. good, good

member of the true crusade against old school heavy metal, early 80s thrash, NWOBHM, traditional doom, first and second wave black metal, old school death metal, US power metal, 70s prog rock and atmospheric doomsludgestoner. o/
21.02.2010 - 02:26
Rating: 10

Fisrt magnificient album from a Magnificient band!

9, only because of production, else it would be a 10 easy.
Beware the Shadows of Dusk
26.05.2013 - 12:22
Rating: 8

I think it was their best, ever.

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