Irreligious (Century Media)
by Chris Dick
Portugal’s Moonspell have developed into a fine outfit indeed! With their second album, Irreligious, the band once again embellish Gothic, eclectic metal with class. The eleven-song opus of grandeur isn’t easily grasped upon initial listening, especially if you’re not ready for this kind of showmanship. This is where fans of Gothic metal may disagree, especially since Type O Negative have made the use of seductive vocals so popular, but vocalist Fernando Ribeiro uses his articulate accent not as a handicap, but in a fashion that would have you fearing the sign of a sanguine moon. Female fans take heed! “For A Taste of Eternity” and “A Poisoned Gift” are the perfect collection of vampiric compositions. The Transylvanian atmospheres are not realized by Fernando alone, guitarist Ricardo Amorim (replacing longtime member Mantus) weaves a multi-layered web of riffing into which keyboardist Pedro Paixao casts his sonorous tones. The use of literary color, along with some passages in their native tongue, closes the final chapter in Moonspell’s second tale. The beauty of darkness is what Moonspell are attracted to, to say differently would deny regal songs like “Mephisto” and “Herr Spiegelmann” their creative power. All this, however, would not have been possible were it not for the sleight of hand production of Waldemar Sorychta. For the second time, he has given Moonspell sparkling production. If you’re looking for a place of sanctuary, Irreligious will provide it, even if dawn never rises.