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Darkness and Hope
September 2001
Released: 2001, Century Media
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: EvilG

Moonspell have never been a band content to do the same thing over and over. From back metal to gothic metal and all points in between, Moonspell have always done things their own way and thus have their unique sound. On their previous album, THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT, the band incorporated industrial sounds and brought back heavier elements and vocals that were almost entirely absent from the oddball album SIN/PECADO. BUTTERFLY was a great album, but it still didn’t touch the brilliance of what I consider to be the best Moonspell CD – IRRELIGIOUS. I had read ahead of time that this new Moonspell CD was supposed to be stylistically closest to IRRELIGIOUS. Of course I was hyped and looking forward to it.

What they have delivered is not IRRELIGIOUS part two. This is more of a cross between that album with a more melodic/gothic feel from the SIN album. Therefore the IRRELIGIOUS album maintains the throne for king of all Moonspell releases. Where DARKNESS AND HOPE will fit in is yet to be determined (perhaps this should have been the follow up album to IRRELIGIOUS?). After listening to this album for a few months I’ll have a better feel. The album opens with the more gothic sounding “Darkness and Hope” not too bad but no IRRELIGIOUS feelings here….however up next is “Firewalking”. Now were talking! This is a great song with heavy roaring guitars making it the best Moonspell song since anything from IRRELIGIOUS. “Devilred” starts out very heavy with double kicking drums but then slides into the more moody/gothic feel. Great song all the same but they could have kept the feeling of the intro going on longer I think!! “Made of Storm” is another of the songs on here that grabbed me on first listen. Most songs like “Nocturna”, “Ghostsong”, “Rapaces”, etc. are full of the deep / emotional vocals and share more in common with the SIN album so if you’re fan of that Moonspell album these songs will be right up your alley. The album closes with a cover song that you’d never expect from Moonspell…”Mr. Crowley” by Ozzy Osbourne. Their rendition is much slower and the organ goes through the entire song. The leads are played VERY close to the way Randy did them though.

DARKNESS AND HOPE is an album that will have something for all of Moonspell’s fans. The juggling act might be a risk if the fans think it’s a bad idea to recapture the past or if the fans of IRRELIGIOUS / WOLFHEART are turned off from the more SIN sounding songs. All I can tell you is that from my perspective this is a very good CD. I like all the Moonspell albums, even SIN (although it is my least favorite) so DARKNESS AND HOPE will be something I’ll be spinning for quite some time!

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Darkness and Hope
September 2001
Released: 2001, Century Media
Rating: 3.7/5
Reviewer: El Cid

I think the title says it all. Darkness being a bad thing in this case because it’s how I’d describe their last 2 albums (Sin/Pecado and the Butterfly Effect) which sucked beyond anything the Portuguese band had done before and Hope because I had heard from some fellow metalheads than Moonspell had again found their roots and were returning to their former glory.

So I stood at the Metal store and I listened to a few tracks carefully chosen by the clerk. The outcome? I don’t know. It’s on-off-on-off-on-off you’d think you’re listening to one song out off Irreligious and one song from the butterfly effect and here and there you find a song that’s conveniently settled in between Wolfheart and Sin/Pecado.

I really don’t know what to make out of this one… The beginning of the album is very intriguing and even brings hope that Moonspell has gone back to their roots but the second half of the album really holds a close resemblance to The butterfly Effect which in turn holds a very close resemblance to a big pile of dog poo (ed. note: GRRRRRR!!!!).

In all I have discussed it with a couple of fellow metalheads and a bunch of them seem to think that this is an attempt to win back some of the old fans without losing the new ones, I guess I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Next review: » Moonspell - Extinct
Previous review: » Moonspell - Alpha Noir

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