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Moonspell – Extinct

For those who are “always under the spell”, the release of “Extinct” by Portuguese long standing act Moonspell can’t come soon enough. Some of the most alluring features of Moonspell’s music are the omnipresent passionate delivery and the rare courageous desire to cross those boundaries that should have never been set in the free realm of arts. So, in terms of songwriting style and artistic vision, what you will find on “Extinct” definitely feels like another spontaneous milestone in the evolutionary scale.
“Breathe (Until We Are No More)” holds a subtle strength that devours from within rather than your standard “right in your face” metal approach. The whole song structure and Fernando Ribeiro’s somber cleans remind me of that enthralling artistic thirst that made “The Butterfly Effect” a groundbreaking work of music. The powerful smooth tempo changes dwelling between fast drumming and slower crystalline guitar riffs render this song very interesting. The elegant addition of the Turkish based orchestra Mumin Sesler string group brings a magical atmosphere that cannot be missed (7 violins, 3 violas and 1 cello is just an irresistible combination).
It might require multiple listening to fully comprehend and appreciate the musical concept of the title track, but it is safe to say that the highlight that will immediately conquer your heart is the extremely feverish and technically excellent guitar solo. Overall, the quite energetic luminous rhythm can be easily associated with a strong spiritual force while Fernando’s vocals hold an intense everlasting darkness.
“Medusalem” delivers a monumental spiritual complexity with an unexpected mix of straight forward gothic rock rhythm and Middle Eastern phrases that might not be easy to digest for the average listener. The orchestra work here adds a majestic and heartwarming atmosphere that is considerably escalated in the semi acoustic breakdown and guitar solo.
“Domina” has guitar driven composition with a seductively softer and darker vibe. Fernando’s clean vocals are particularly emotional and insightful as are the lyrics and the keyboards arrangement further enhances the melancholy, the unspeakable feeling of loss and that whole overpowering darkness that surrounds us all. The poignant value of this song is perfectly expressed and interpreted by the outstanding lead guitar work which features a fervent memorable solo.
I couldn’t agree more with the lyrics and the title of “The Future Is Dark” and, in general, the concept of extinction expressed on the album. This might be a slow track with a hint of ballad style here and there, nevertheless the overwhelming emotional dark flame and sorrowful delivery perfectly portrayed by the soothing vocals and guitar solo will inevitably capture your senses.
“La Baphomette” is one those hidden gems that will be misunderstood by many but addictively worshipped by few. This is the one song that holds a truly unique strength with the vintage piano melodies, the charming whisperings, it all feels like a long lost enchantment that comes from the ancient Lusitanian folklore or like a love potion with surprising side effects.
Considering that the metal scene keeps on facing a dark time of stagnation due to the obnoxious sets of rules and schemes that every band seems to be forced to follow to avoid tasteless criticism an hopefully reach some sort of general consensus, I truly hope that a niche of listeners void of any unconstructive prejudice still endure. At the same time, I can’t help but wondering how being able to freely express your feelings and follow you creative force has become a flaw. Do yourself a favor and just listen to “Extinct” without over analyzing and rationalizing each and every song because, after all, music is out there to be enjoyed irresponsibly and to the fullest extent.

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