When it comes to combining doom metal, death metal and gothic metal, few do it better than Portugal’s own Moonspell. Albums like Irreligious (1996) and Sin/Pecado (1998) are downright classics. After the experimental nature of The Butterfly Effect (1999) the band returned to a harsher style on Darkness And Hope (2001), The Antidote (2003) and Memorial (2006), but retained a certain yearn for change. Their latest effort, Night Eternal (2008) is no exception to the rule.
Its predecessor was quite a smasher in terms of compositions and arrangements, so it’s not surprising that Night Eternal follows the same pattern. This albums brings us nine atmospheric compositions forged from the best elements of doom metal, black metal, death metal and gothic metal, held together by the growls and tasteful low sung vocals by Fernando Ribeiro.
Another thing that attracts me to Moonspell is their ability to add a certain kind of slumbering melancholy to their music. An air of dark romance if you will. This becomes especially apparent in Scorpion Flower, which features a duet between Fernando Ribeiro and Anneke van Giersbergen (ex The Gathering). This song is one of the highlights on Night Eternal. Other great tracks are At Tragic Heights, Shadow Sun, Hers Is The Twilight, Dreamless (Lucifer And Lillith) and the title track.
The production of Night Eternal is expertly handled by Danish producer Tue Madsen (The Haunted, Dark Tranquillity).
If you fancy beautiful dark melodies, intelligent songs and arrangements and a sense of brooding Mediterranean melancholy, then Night Eternal by Moonspell is the record to die for. Certainly one of the highlights in their already impressive discography.
Written by Raymond Westland