Moonspell - Memorial review
|Release date:||April 2006|
Disc I [CD]
01. In Memoriam
03. Memento Mori
04. Sons Of Earth
05. Blood Tells
06. Upon The Blood Of Men
07. At The Image Of Pain
10. Once It Was Ours!
11. Mare Nostrum
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]
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…
"Memorial" is a really good surprise; Fernando Ribeiro is finally back to the Death Metal mode. Here his vocals are extremely heavy and powerful, like on some songs of Wolfheart but evidently his voice is definitely better now. Plus as always Fernando uses a lot his really deep voice and it's one more time extremely convincing. But the good points not only come from the vocals and beautiful dark lyrics of the album. The music is also really good…
On a side, it can be extremely heavy near of Death Metal like on "Finisterra" but also really dark and melodic like with "Luna" (a real hit). There are also different tempos on the CD. The fast and speedy one of "Upon The Blood Of Men", the mid-tempo one of "Blood Tells!"or the slow one of "Memento Mori". It's extremely varied so don't expect a linear release.
The album is well structured, the different songs are good, except maybe one or two tracks like "Once It Was Durst" which aren't bad but can be a bit boring with time. I mean that I listened a lot of time "Memorial" but its great production and the different arrangements are so good that it is hard to find some bad points on this release. The Dark ambiances, a speciality of the band, are for example always really cool. Moosnpell knew in the past how to do good albums with a really good Gothic / Atmospheric aspect and let me tell you that, even if "Memorial" is heavy that they knew how to add this aspect on this album too.
At the end, "Memorial" is an excellent surprise, especially for the fans who was a bit disappointed by the last albums. With a lot of intelligences, our guys know how to mix their modern sound with their old influences and it works perfectly. Bow to the kings of the Metal bands from Portugal… Moonspell is back and this album will stay in our memories…
|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.
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|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.
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|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.
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|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.
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