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It is so real, so full of light.
-- Moonspell
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(2006) Moonspell - Memorial
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1. In Memoriam (Intro)
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
Red...what a beautiful color to represent such a strong comeback. Powerful, passionate, angry, mysterious, magical. After three years since their last release and almost a decade since their prime time, the most famous Portuguese Metal band has come to mark year 2006 and cast the moon spell onto our ears...
Although Moonspell’s sound usually is placed under the Gothic/Doom label, it is one of the few times that a band can so successfully balance Goth elements with Black Metal outbursts and Death roaring hints. "Memorial" is Moonspell's 9th release and 7th full length album and it follows the path of heavy sound, dark atmosphere and a variety of soundtrack-like touches. After the rather mediocre "Antidote" (2003), the band has made the suitable comeback album, which can stand in line next to "Wolfheart" (1995), "Irreligious" (1996) and "Darkness And Hope" (2001). The experimental period with albums such as "Sin/Pecado" (1998) and "The Butterfly Effect" (1999) is put aside and "Memorial" is once more a dive into the dark waters of deadly blackened Goth Metal.

The album begins with the instrumental "In Memoriam" and has already created the correct mood for the rest that follow. The track "Finisterra" is next, with Fernando Ribeiro using Death Metal style in his vocals, seriously flirting with Black Metal sound and in that way setting the rule for the general idea in this album. "Memento Mori" is a very strong, heavy track, definitely among the best of this record. Songs like "Sons Of Earth", "Upon The Blood Of Men" and "At The Image Of Pain", will draw your attention for sure with their darkened melody, the menacing growls of Fernando at times, but mostly with the clean, passionate vocals, revealed as well in tracks like "Sanguine". "Luna" is a gothic ballad with female vocals and the finale is given with the amazing "Best Forgotten".

What surprised me is that Moonspell don't seem to forget the Heavy Metal element like many other Gothic bands do. They do not want a specific identity in their sound, nor do they let themselves be totally predicted. They’ve still got inspiration and are able to create unique compositions. Indeed, a great return...

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