Vera : The cycle of the sun contains twelve years, where after protuberances reign and reflect their scorching exhalations on earth by disturbing the electro-magnetic field and less sunny summers. The moon cycle is something completely different, but now that I consider my favourite Portuguese band, I have a little doubt. Indeed, after twelve years, Moonspell returns to base. It is true, the previous CD 'The Antidote' displayed some signs in that direction, but with 'Memorial' we can assert frankly that the most popular metal band of Portugal returned to their primary purposes. Experiments came to an end, going back to the gorgeous nineties.
This results in a return to Waldemar Sorychta's studio in Hagen (Germany) to record the whole album. And this ended up in straight overwhelming rough vocals of Fernando Ribeiro. Man, I have not heard him grunting like this for years! It has an effect on the entirety of the compositions and their performance on 'Memorial', for these four skilled musicians really surpass themselves on this seventh studio album of Moonspell.
After an intro to build up tension in a masterful manner while the curtain opens, 'Finisterra' is a real heavy track with Fernando screaming like in days of old and dizzy vortex guitars. It happens to be the single of the album too, they have shot a video clip of it. "Alive at the End of the World”, sings Fernando, while you see the headland wind blowing through the raven black hairs of these men. No tempestuous grooves without dramatic orchestral arrangements and a short intermezzo with obscure vocals though. This seamlessly flows into 'Memento Mori' because before we realize there is 'Sons Of Earth' with fast but emotional guitar soloing. The band still knows how to dose its chiaroscuro perfectly, though it is worth mentioning that next tracks are most of all massive, overwhelming and heavy. In 'At The Image Of Pain' is a remarkable vocal contribution of Big Boss of the Czech band Root. It is only from 'Sanguine' on that Fernando brings in his softer (sometimes whispering) voice, a track with outstanding ravishing passages anyhow. 'Proliferation' is something completely different. An eerie filmic atmosphere and apocalyptic chants even prolong for a while in the furious 'Once It Was Ours!' which is a following apex on this memorable CD. It displays a tremendous power! Silenced beauty breaks in 'Mare Nostrum' where graceful semi-acoustic guitar notes are accompanied by a sea breeze that hews the faces of these musicians for ever in the rocks. 'Luna' is what one would call the most gothic track of the album with any Type O'Negative tinge and female vocal parts. 'Best Forgotten' debouches into the ocean with sounds of whales and an atmospheric, experimental penchant.
Moonspell was grandly inspired as is apparent from the length of the CD (one hour). Not a single moment your attention slackens and we can rejoice without contradiction that this is the crusher that had been raging somewhere in their unconsciousness since 'Irreligious'. Moonspell has always been a unique band and proves this again with 'Memorial' in an amazing way. Top notch album!