Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 6-4

I was quite intrigued and later inspired by AMG's excellent "From Worst to Best"-section he did with Iron Maiden, that I decided to the very same with some of the bands who's discography I am familiar with (more so than Maiden anyway). So this is my extremly personal "From Inferior to Prime" (since I assumed AMG copyrighted that other sentence. Anyway, I'm not the least ashamed to borrow stuff this blantantly. Also, I now linked to the guy's site twice, so he should actually be glad.

This is my personal From Inferior to Prime 6-4 feautring the pride of Portugal. 

#6. Night Eternal (2008)

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
10. Age Of Mothers

What to say about this album really? The band had already made sort of a "comeback" with it's previously released album that broke the boring trend set by "Darkness and Hope" but this album seems to be more highly revered for some damn reason. I don't know if I'm correct here, but it feels like "Night Eternal" sort of "broke" the band to a new audience or something. Maybe it was good timing for the band, maybe I'm all wrong? Who knows?

Fact is that many Moonspell-fans seems to highly praise this album. Myself, I am a bit split. For you see even if there's tracks that are good (the title track and "Moon in Mercury"), songs that are OK ("Shadow Sun", "Scorpion Flower" and "Hers is the Twilight") and even amazing ("At Tragic Heights") there's also the usual filler material. It's basically the same type of music the band tried to make with "Darkness and Hope" and "The Antidote", only this time it is much more consistent. Good album indeed, but nowhere near the masterpiece some say it is.


#5. Memorial (2006)

1. In Memoriam
2. Finisterra
3. Memento Mori
4. Sons Of Earth
5. Blood Tells
6. Upon The Blood Of Men
7. At The Image Of Pain
8. Sanguine
9. Proliferation
10. Once It Was Ours!
11. Mare Nostrum
12. Luna
13. Best Forgotten
14. Atlantic

I had first been dissapointed with "Darkness and Hope" in 2001 and then again with "The Antidote" in 2003. Moonspell was far from being my favourite band at this point. In 2004 I heard a new song with the band called "I'll See You in my Dreams" and said song, together with a ludicrous video, made me more or less shun the band that I once loved. I gave up on Moonspell. The almost 7 year long honeymoon we had were over. The years passed. I noticed they had a new album out but it wasn't until I had heard "Under Satanæ" in 2007 that I remembered what I had liked about this band in the first place. Without any hopes, I took a first listen to "Memorial"...

The weird thing is that this album is exactly in the same style as the two previously released albums, but here they feel rejuvenated. Perhaps a three-year gap in album releases was what the band needed to get back on track. For the first time since 1998, Moonspell gives us an album that actually flows from start to finish. Besides giving us really good tracks such as "Finisterra", "At the Image of Pain" and "Best Forgotten" we are also greeted with amazing songs in "Upon the Blood of Men", "Sanguine" and "Once it was Ours!". The most unintersting tracks are the instrumentals and while I must say there are a bit too many of them (4 alltogether) and that "Proliferation" is a bit too long, they do keep the flow of the album intact and isn't all too distracting to the ears.

All in all, "Memorial" is a great "comeback" for a band that I considered dead and forgotten. It is the classic black gothic metal that we're used too when it comes to Moonspell, although perhaps a bit more aggressive and less gothic than they've been in a long time.


#4. Irreligious (1996)

1. Perverse...Almost Religious
2. Opium
3. Awake!
4. For A Taste Of Eternity
5. Ruin And Misery
6. A Poisoned Gift
7. Subversion
8. Raven Claws
9. Mephisto
10. Herr Spiegelman
11. Full Moon Madness

Let's talk a bit about the cover before we go into the music now. The band themselves admitted that the artwork to "Irreligious" was a bit rushed and I get what they mean. They probably wanted to ride quickly on the wave of success coming off their debut album one year earlier so they just threw someting that looked "gothic" to please the audience. But slapping the eye of Ra onto a fiery background might not have been the best idea. Not an ounce of the music on this albums has any Egyptian theme to it either so there's really no connection to the music which is something I've always hated about "Irreligious"...

But that's about the only thing I hate here. For you see, not only does this album reek of atmosphere, classic songs, unexpected twists and turns and cringe-worthy English pronounciation with that wonderful Portugese accent of vocalist Fernando Ribiero - no, it is also the host of my all-time favourite intro ever. Aside from being wonderfully titled, "Perverse...Almost Religious" is an instrumental with just the perfect length (1:07). Then there's way it builds up from nothing, slowly creeps up on the listener and then errupts violently into what just might be Moonspell's most recognizable song "Opium" is so masterfully done that it amazes me to this day. While not being entirely instrumental, "Awake!" does the exact same thing one song later as it builds up and unexpectedly ends as the fury of "A Taste of Eternity" begins. And then the smash-hits just keeps coming at us; "Ruin And Misery", "A Poisoned Gift", "Raven Claws" etc.

So does the album have any weak spots then? Well, not really but I have understood that the two songs that I like the least - while not being bad per se - are two of the one's that fans really seems to love. I get what "Full Moon Madness" tries to do but I've never considered it as good and as classic as everyone else does. And I honestly think it's a shame that the band almost always ends their concert with said song since it just seems a bit too bloated for it's own good. "Mephisto" is a better song but it's also one of those that I never understood the immense love fans have for it.


Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 12-10
Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 9-7
Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 3-1

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