Moonspell - Darkness And Hope
18 September 2001

01. Darkness And Hope
02. Firewalking
03. Nocturna
04. Heartshaped Abyss
05. Devilred
06. Ghostsong
07. Rapaces
08. Made Of Storm
09. How We Became Fire
10. Than The Serpents In My Hands
11. Os Senhores Da Guerra [Madredeus cover] [bonus]
12. Mr. Crowley [Ozzy Osbourne cover] [bonus]
13. Love Will Tear Us Apart [Joy Division cover] [bonus]
+ Magdalene [video] [special video remix version]
+ Butterfly FX [video] [uncensored version]

Moonspell's albums are always awaited by their fans, as each release from this Portuguese band is totally different from the previous. In these conditions, putting a tag on Moonspell's music is difficult and I have to refer to general knowledge to categorize them as a gothic/doom metal band [after a black metal debut album...]. Darkness And Hope is the successor to the very weird The Butterfly Effect, which was both experimental and brutal.

Listening to the opening title track, you can think that the shadows of their previous album still remain. But you understand that it's just an illusion: the choruses are calm and contrasts between angry and quiet vocals [widely used in their previous release] are now rare. The single 'Firewalking' is the opposite of the first track, fast and powerful with death-like vocals. It's a real killer song. Then back to a slow tempo with 'Nocturna'. These guys like to alternate tempos for sure! In my mind, that song is truly the best of the album. The chorus is wonderful, perfect guitar riffs, the melody is extremely catchy... Listen and enjoy!
The following 'Heartshaped Abyss' and 'Devilred' are more aggressive than 'Nocturna'. Nevertheless, the composition of 'Nocturna' has obviously had a huge influence on 'Heartshaped Abyss' while 'Devilred' sounds absolutely independent. Then comes 'Ghostsong', a haunted ballad [hence the name!], which perfectly mixed guitars and samples.

Unlike the smooth songs such as 'Darkness And Hope' and 'Nocturna', 'Rapaces' shows Moonspell's brutality through Fernando Ribeiro's vocal abilities contrasting with background angelic voices... Pure violent art! 'Made Of Storm' is similar to 'Rapaces' - same sick vocals - even if the chorus is actually soft. 'How We Became Fire' is a very good ballad even better than 'Ghostsong'. 'Than the Serpents in My Hands' is really catchy too and the end of that album is getting more and more interesting with 'Os Senhores da Guerra' [lyrics in Portuguese] very slow but amazing and a great cover of Ozzy's 'Mr. Crowley'.

Two years after the surprising The Butterfly Effect, 2001's Darkness And Hope turned the page of the ultra-experimentalism aspect of Moonspell while keeping a huge amount of composition research. Thus, the album sounds closer to both Sin/Pecado and Religious than to their previous release. However, Darkness And Hope is smoother, less monotone and definitely more mature.

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

Band profile: Moonspell
Album: Darkness And Hope


Written on 22.09.2003 by
Demonic Tutor
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Comments: 5  
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Solstafir! - 22.04.2009 at 00:50  
I agree with the review...i love the title track, but nocturna and ghostsong also kicks some serious @$$!
Uirapuru - 01.06.2009 at 15:49  
After Butterfly Effect, this was a nice surprise. Devilred and Heartshaped Abyss are the best songs. The Madredaus cover was also very good.
Darkside Momo - 09.06.2009 at 23:37  
Worst Moonspell album by far, it is so uninspired at times... Firewalking, Rapaces and Os Senhores Da Guerra (and maybe Devilred) are good, true, but that's about it.
Slayer666 - 26.08.2009 at 01:09  
Man, Ghostsong has got to be Moonspell's most underrated song ever! How everyone just looks over this small musical genius is beyond me...
The Melting Snow - 16.05.2012 at 20:59  
Written by Slayer666 on 26.08.2009 at 01:09

Man, Ghostsong has got to be Moonspell's most underrated song ever! How everyone just looks over this small musical genius is beyond me...

agreed, finally i found someone who thinks the same as i do about Ghostsong. haunting and beautiful and yeah, very underrated.

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