Author: Fernando Ribeiro
Title: Moonspell XX
Publisher: Saida De Emergencia
Reviewed: May, 2018
I’ve always been a Moonspell fan since the early days. Recently (as of time of writing) the band announced they are touring North America in the autumn of 2018 and are coming to my town. Accordingly, I have been on a Moonspell kick lately and have been revisiting their deep and magnificent catalogue. After falling in love with the band all over again, I decided to treat myself to a copy of the official band biography called XX, representing the Roman numeral for 20. I was very pleased to grab one of the few remaining copies from their web-store. I have a feeling this gem will be worth some big money someday, although that was not my motivation for buying this. I’m surprised there were any copies left actually, but it was maybe a bit expensive so that might have hindered sales.
XX was written by founder and vocalist Fernando Ribeiro and was published by Saida De Emergencia in 2012. The band was formed in 1992 so of course it is commemorating the bands 20th anniversary, hence the title. I grabbed one of the limited edition hard cover copies, limited to 222 copies which is one-third of 666 (The Number of The Beast!) so it is an evil book, but not totally evil! The 142-page hard cover coffee table book is published in both Portuguese and English and comes with an autographed photo as well. It is very nicely put together with a clean, simple design.
XX follows a loosely chronological telling of the Moonspell story with a twist here and there. This is certainly NOT your generic sex, drugs and rock and roll autobiography. It has way more class and is far more sophisticated than any number of books by your big name 80’s rock stars who seem to delight in spending an inordinate amount of time detailing about their sexual misadventures when they were young. Moonspell has always been one of the classier bands and it shows. There is some great info on the early days, getting signed to Century Media, traveling to Germany, recording touring, highs and lows, failed experiments, members coming and going all culminating in the two decades on the road and the immensely respected catalogue the band has amassed today.
I really, really enjoyed XX. Ribeiro writes with passion and soul and as mentioned earlier, this goes above and beyond a simple biography of a rock band. In fact, if anything that may be the only shortcoming of the book, the lack of concrete technical detail. One day a super-fan will write the ultimate authorized biography of Moonspell and cover all the stuff that is not here; like lists of tour dates, line-up changes, what gear they play, a comprehensive discography, and all that awesome trivia that is faithfully collected by the loyal members of the Moonspell wolf-pack. Ribeiro opted instead to tell stories, share his feeling and thoughts, and these anecdotes and observations, often give more insight into the creative process and make-up of the band than any list of tour dates could. As silly as it may sound when I got XX, one cold, dark night I quietly sat by the fire, had a glass of wine, listened to Moonspell and read this book cover to cover. I found it to be a tremendously appealing work. Ave!