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Night Eternal - Moonspell
Member Name: Jarisleif
Night Eternal - Moonspell
Advantages: Gothic metal with a mix of death
Disadvantages: Wanders off down the wrong path at times
"Night Eternal" is the 8th studio album by Portuguese gothic metal band, Moonspell. It was released in 2008 on the SPV label and produced by Tue Madsen. The line-up for the album was Fernando Ribeiro (vocals), Ricardo Amorim (guitar), Pedro Paix„o (guitar/keyboards), Aires Pereira (bass) and Miguel Gaspar (drums).
Moonspell formed in 1992, and have come a long way since their debut album. "Night Eternal" is the follow-up to their 2006 offering, "Memorial", and is the first to feature bassist, Aires Pereira, replacing session bass player and former producer, Waldemar Sorychta.
"At Tragic Heights" begins as is come to be expected with Moonspell, in a haunting, almost medieval sounding intro with an aria and spoken word lyrics before launching into the heavier guitars, and, more importantly, the mainstay of the song. It's very gothic sounding, but it's also very heavy at the same time.
Title track "Night Eternal" has a lot of tones and structure of fellow European band, Lacuna Coil. It's a dark and moody keyboard-driven song, but with death metal style vocals and heavy drums. This is easily one of the best songs on the album, purely because its sound is complex but it works.
"Shadow Sun" starts out with an eerie gothic style to it, which eventually leads into a powerful chorus and complete ending. The main riff is reminiscent of what early Paradise Lost sounded like and the whole song is put together with what sounds like ease, but is obviously intricate. This is my favourite track on the album.
"Scorpion Flower" is one of those songs fans of this music genre either love or hate. Personally, it's not a favourite of mine. It's too slow, and I've never been a fan of the harmony of togetherness in male/female vocals. But, as I say, some will love it because it's a more 'personal' song than the rest of the album.
"Moon Mercury" makes me completely forget the last song with its aggression and dark, almost black metal style, guitar riffs. The song seems to switch between the different metal genres in a timely fashion, and that's what I like. You know a band is good at what it does if it can change with ease.
"Here is the Twilight" pulls the album into many directions. There are so many influences that can be heard in this song; Iron Maiden, Cradle of Filth, Bathory and Sepultura to name a few. But then the track tends to taper off a little and become more filler than anything. I'm sure it would have been much better at 3 minutes long, and not the near 5 that it is.
"Dreamless (Lucifer and Lilith)" is another of those very gothic-style songs, with a hint of ballad-ness about it. Reminds me of a cross between the Sisters of Mercy and Rammstein; the former being that I can almost hear Andrew Eldritch singing it. This will be on the highlights of many people's choices for song of the album.
"Spring of Rage", while near the end of the album, is a filler, for me. Or rather, most of it is. If only the band had sat back and thought about it, they could have ended up merging the best bits of this and "Here is the Twilight" to make one monstrous song. Unfortunately, I'm of the opinion that it doesn't do the album justice.
"First Light" brings the album to an orchestrally gothic end. The haunting female vocals lead the song down the right path, splitting the majestic guitars and heavy-themed death metal sounds. It's a perfect end to a very good album.
In summary, one thing the band combines well is the sound of death metal with black metal, and the sound of gothic metal with the two aforementioned genres. While "Night Eternal" isn't a masterpiece, or anything like Moonspell's previous albums, it's still an enjoyable listen. The band knows how to play, but the album sometimes tapers off in the wrong direction. I'd still heartily recommend it, though.
1. At Tragic Heights
2. Night Eternal
3. Shadow Sun
4. Scorpion Flower
5. Moon in Mercury
6. Hers is the Twilight
7. Dreamless (Lucifer and Lilith)
8. Spring of Rage
9. First Light
My rating: 7/10
Summary: Not brilliant, but it's still a good album.