The blunder is real, as you can imagine I was filled to the brim with excitement when I caught wind of a new album from Moonspell. Id never heard the Portuguese Gothic Metal outfit before and upon my first listen to 1755 I found myself thinking "this doesn't sound like them". Well that's because I made the catastrophic error of confusing them with Moonsorrow who's last record was a true gem, one to remember, unfortunately I had trouble remembering their name and so we embark on an expected journey with another band also inspired by the moon!
Getting past the initial "This wasn't what I wanted" phase, a strong record is to be found here. Drawing from symphonic, orchestral and fantasy influences Moonspell craft an inviting breed of Metal tinged with Gothic, Doom, Heavy and even Black varieties that never goes to strongly in any direction. Its compositions are heavily involved with the keyboards which elevate otherwise mediocre arrangements of riffs to cinematic, adventurous levels. The snarling beastly scream of front man Ribeiro cuts through with a commanders presence, steering the ship. Unfortunately his impact is muted by the language barrier, the lyrics could of made better sense of lively symphonies which create quite the sense of unfolding events. Given the name of the album I can't help but feel It may be about the earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Portugal's capitol, Lisborn.
The record plays with varying intensities and tempos, never a dull moment as its rich tapestry of strings, keys, distortion guitars and vocals forge imaginative songs but as the record comes to an end its best is in store, the closing "Lanterna Dos Afogados" elevates the record a deep and brooding passage of music in its build up, moving from a whispering voice over a soft piano into a dense wash of sorrowful instruments mourning in harmony. The back and forth between these halves culminates with an exotic guitar solo and then the song is plunged into a passing of darkness it recovers from with the returning theme drenched in thick organs and gothic male choirs. A very memorable, satisfying song from a decent record with little to fault.
Favorite Track: Lanterna Dos Afogados