Portugal’s Moonspell is not a new band to the metal scene as having started in 1992 and first EP Under the Moonspell released in 1994. The group has released a multitude of amazing albums that most of us in the metal scene can name and own. Released November 3rd through Napalm Records, Moonspell returned to deliver 1755. 1755 focuses on The Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 which was a devastating earthquake that hit the coast of Lisbon on All Saint’s Day. Having parted the sea and exposed the ocean floor before it unleashed walls of water all over the city and what was not destroyed by the waters fell victim to five horrific days of fire. With the first time an album in Moonspell’s native tongue, it is easy to see the album is close in subject to them.
Unlike Extinct’s goth rock sound and predominate use of clean vocals, Moonspell comes full force with a more signature sounding release like previous works seen from the band. Many of the songs feature choral and orchestral flavors that are reminiscent of later styled Amorphis. The ethnic sounds in the track Ruinas works masterfully to Fernando’s linguistic patterns. The guitar work, especially the soloing, from Pedro Paixão and Ricardo Amorim, are soulful throughout this song, as well as the rest of the album. The drums are very different and memorable to times of Memorial and The Antidote with the mix of both ferocity and beauty keeping an almost folk style at certain moments.
This album shows that their is beauty found in tragedy and if there is any band that can make art out of darkness and pain, it is Moonspell. This album pays tribute to one of Europe’s greatest tragedies ever and this album captures the emotion and history within the music. 1755 proves to be that after over twenty five years, Moonspell can still bring to us what we crave. A highly recommended album I would say.
Overall Score: 9.5/10
Review by Neil Andersen