DARKNESS AND HOPE
ALBUM CENTURY MEDIA RELEASE:
SEPTEMBER 18, 2001 REVIEW: OCTOBER 16, 2001
and foremost: "Darkness and Hope" is no "Sin/Pecado".
If I have to place it somewhere on Moonspell's musical map, it would land
closer to "Wolfheart", "Irreligous" and maybe "The
Butterfly Effect". And that is
kind of nice - if you are a die-hard, old school gothic metal-head. Part
of me is, and I find "Darkness and Hope" to be a nice journey
in to the dark metallic heart of these Portuguse.
I like "Firewalking", "Nocturna" and "Heartshaped
Abyss" as much as the next song, but maybe I like "Os senhores
da guerra" a little bit more. Mr Ribeiro sounds a tad bit more comfortable
in his native tongue, than he does in English. And it's a shame it
takes a song in Portugese to bring out the best in him, as there are eleven
other tracks on the album, all in English. But that aside, Fernando Ribeiro
is one of the best singers on the goth
metal scene today.
Moonspell also could be one of the best, and not just first, goth metal
bands. The problem is the reluctance to break new ground. "Sin/Pecado"
was such an attempt, but as it didn't turn out well (in sales, I guess)
and crew have turned to the safer, and a bit more boring, path. The industrial
influences are at a minimum, but on an album where samplings are what
lifts the music, that is a mistake.
And last: I know I'm not really supposed to review anything other than the
music. But both you and I know that the artwork and finish of the album
attracts almost as many buyers as a good review, and Moonspell surely
one of the most attractive covers and artwork around. Almost good enough
to tip the scales to a better review too.