Moonspell: Distinct

Portuguese metal band Moonspell have produced their latest studio album, Extinct. Formed in 1992, the quintet once known as Morbid God have embraced various metal styles throughout their musical career. Currently classified as dark metal, Extinct captures the gothic/extreme genres and meshes them to create an impressive album. In only 10 songs, Moonspell are able to provide flawless vocals with sharp and precise instrumentation. While the band has seen different members throughout the decades, the current musicians work incredibly well together. Moonspell’s musical compatibility within the group is strongly reflected throughout the entirety of the recording. Extinct maintains a high quality that must be acknowledged; the clarity and varying musicality of the tracks are a complement to the dark metal genre.

Moonspell vocalist Fernando Ribeiro is clear and consistent throughout Extinct with his deep voice. In “Medusalem,” Ribeiro’s singing varies from dismal and brooding to extended and melodic; vocal variety is constantly present on each track of Extinct. With Mike Gaspar on drums and Aires Pereira on bass, Moonspell’s musical foundation is solid. Guitarist Ricardo Amorim and guitarist/keyboardist Pedro Paixão create the sharp guitar solos and electric sounds threaded throughout a majority of the songs. “Domina” contains steady guitar riffs and later makes a smooth transition into a lengthy yet complex guitar solo.

One piece that truly grasps the thematic metal style is “La Baphomette,” a short and more mysterious tune. While the song is not in English, the sentiment is clear for any listener. Opening with deft keystrokes, the number gradually becomes more impassioned as Ribeiro’s singing burns with raw emotion. Moonspell’s song placement from beginning to end is in the exact order they should be. Each track transitions into the next smoothly and without unnecessary hesitation.

Moonspell effortlessly dominates the dark metal genre with Extinct. While their experience with a variety of metal has given them a foot up on others, the group has undeniable musical talent. It appears that Extinct is revealing many deep thoughts and emotions of Moonspell in the music itself. Each track is meant to be felt; the listener is supposed to go beyond simply listening to the sound.

The band’s career spans over two decades and in that time they have created a prominent imprint upon the metal world. Extinct expresses many ideas while remaining musically consistent and compelling. Within each song, Moonspell manage to capture the listener’s attention from the first note until the very last. Extinct is an exemplary collection of 10 pieces that are comprehensible and extraordinary.

In A Word: Mandatory