Vera : When Moonspell accepted the challenge to brush up all their old material last year and dived into the past under the moniker 'Under Satanae', new ideas were already dawning in the heads of this Portuguese band. These ideas have developed and matured a long time, just as wine in wooden barrels. They did a profound preproduction in Portugal with long term producer Waldemar Sorychta. Final recordings took place at the Antfarm Studio of Tue Madsen in Denmark, a cooperation worth continuing after the 'Under Satanae' project.
On the 19th of May the result will hit the stores: 'Night Eternal' will reveal its secrets as the true successor of the one and only 'Memorial' (2006). I can immediately reassure you: it turned into a stunner like fury that maintains the heaviness of 'Memorial', without falling into stagnation. For they do add new elements; but these are carried out in a more subtle manner than before (when reactions of the fans were critical).
'At Tragic Heights' takes its time with a mysterious spoken intro, making the times of 'Irreligious' come to life again. What follows has the primordial power of a hurricane; with ferocious grunts and fast and furious riffs. This is Moonspell at its best right away! Keyboard parts support all this, to achieve this impressive grandeur we all know. Before you realize it, we are in the second song 'Night Eternal', including a few calmer guitar licks but soon exploding to fury. Mike Gaspar in top form on double bass drums! But let us not forget to mention the massive melancholy of this album, since that feeling is deeply noticeable in fetching words and pessimistic views. That is no surprise, because 'Night Eternal' has the wear and tear of the earth as main theme. Way too long, human beings have explored the natural resources without thinking, only for the sake of money and this may have far-reaching consequences. Phrases like "our world is dying”, "lost in crimson skies” or "life is meaningless” cause a faint feeling of long lost glory, as if something is lost for good if we do not take care.
One of the slightly changes is that Fernando uses his dark gothic voice more than on 'Memorial'. More "common” vocals indeed. Good examples of that are the mysterious, almost epic passages in 'Shadow Sun' and most of all his sensitive vocals in the captivating 'Scorpion Flower' in which Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, Agua de Annique) sings a magnificent duet with Fernando. Open guitar sounds and the way of singing in 'Hers Is The Twilight' reminds me a bit of Tiamat, but do not forget that nearly every song includes a compelling outburst with grunts, while guitar solos often give a melodic touch to the songs. Towards the end there are two songs with a more trailing nature (medium-paced). 'Dreamless (Lucifer And Lilith)' is an amazing song where dark melancholy and catchy melodies go hand in hand. The occluding track 'First Light' is another song that instantly hooked me. Mark the female background vocals and once again a larger-than-life guitar solo, adding a zest to Fernando's powerful vocals. It has to be clear by now: Moonspell is one of the best bands that the gothic/doom scene of the nineties has brought forth and with 'Night Eternal' they prove it once again.