heavy metal

Moonspell Bio

Band members
Fernando Ribeiro - vocals
Ricardo Amorim - guitars
Pedro Paixao - synths & samplers
Mike Gaspar - drums
Sergio Crestana - bass


It took only two albums in the mid-'90s for Moonspell to establish itself as one of the leaders of the then-flourishing gothic metal scene. Wolfheart (1995) and its successor Irreligious (1996) allowed the Portuguese quintet to crest the throne of dark passion through a combination of stylish presentation, shadowy lyrics and a unique musical approach. Moonspell's developmental phase was more aggressive and forceful, followed by times of maturity as the band ventured down new musical paths, exploring more complex emotions. On The Butterfly Effect (1999), Moonspell invoked a harsh industrial-sound marked by intense dynamic acrobatics. Successful tours in America (with In Flames in November 1999 and Amorphis in May 2000) and Europe (headlining with Kreator, Witchery and Novembre in January 2000) followed shortly thereafter, expediting the band's progression into a solid unit of competent, complex and expressive performers. It would be easy to market Darkness and Hope as "going back to the glory days," but this would be restrictive and not altogether accurate. While Moonspell sets course for the gothic metal arena once again, they are far from revisiting their past or rewriting their own songs. The fiery emotions of the new songs are generated by a far subtler repertoire of sounds. Darkness And Hope is rich with theatrics, and great hymnal melodies breaking through to a stream of minor-keyed riffs. Moonspell manages to create delicate dynamics between sensitive half-ballads and mighty guitar-attacks, giving room to the listener's emotions while indeed generating an atmosphere somewhere between darkness and hope. The great storytelling within tracks like "Nocturna," "Firewalking" and "Devilred" manages to follow up on their dramatic masterpieces like "Mephisto" and "Vampiria." Sometimes Moonspell's own history almost seems like a Shakespearean drama in fast-forward mode: sparkling heroes storm towards the invitation of power; ambition leads to a fall (as perceived by some fans of their early work); a moment of self-reflection follows.and Act Four begins now - virtues once considered forgotten are rediscovered and forced to prove themselves against the cynicism of a life-experience nourished by defeats. Darkness and Hope encompasses some thrilling sounds. Even though this saga - from the rise and fall of a metal band - might be even more emotional than certain songs from their early days, there might be a spark of truth to it. All the many facets you can hear in Fernando Ribeiro's voice nowadays can be attributed to nothing but life itself. The same goes for the work of his band mates, who have never generated something so organic. Conclusion: Darkness And Hope, which was produced by producer-legend Hiili Hiilesmaa in Finnvox Studio, is proving that the musical, aching heart of our heroes from the very western edge of Europe is still beating powerfully... and it is exactly this pain that makes it so pleasurable to listen to, time and time again.

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