MOONSPELL - Alpha Noir

Moonspell - Alpha Noir

9 songs
40:34 minutes
***** **


Moonspell don’t require any lengthy introduction. The metal institution from the Portuguese capital city Lissabon is celebrating their twentieth anniversary this year with Alpha Noir, their already ninth studio album.

Right from the start, with the opener Axis Mundi, it’s obvious that the band hasn’t reinvented itself. They still offer powerful dark metal which reminds of bands like Atrocity, Carcass, Samael and Tiamat. Despite a certain pace, Moonspell are able to let their songs sound quite gloomy. Variety is provided by melodic parts and orchestral arrangements which help to make the songs feel more mature. Their technical prowess is demonstrated on the ambitious title track and the following bombastic En Nome Do Medo which comes with Portuguese lyrics.

Nevertheless, despite the humble running time of only forty minutes, Moonspell can’t maintain that high level throughout the record. There are no truly weak tracks, but some (Versus, Grand Stand, Opera Carne) are average at best. The concluding Sine Missione also begs the question if this album really needed and orchestral instrumental. One wonders if the goal was only to pad the CD’s length.

Alpha Noir is far from being a highlight in Moonspell’s career. They may have reached their zenith with Irreligious, but this doesn’t mean that they have to be ashamed of their new album. Fans should make sure to get the limited edition which comes with a bonus album titled Omega White, on which the band is paying tribute to the gothic sound of bands like Type O Negative and Sisters Of Mercy.

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