Moonspell from Inferior to Prime: 12-10

I was very interested, quite intrigued and later inspired by AMG's excellent "From Worst to Best"-section he did with Iron Maiden. So much that I decided to the very same with some of the bands who's discography I am familiar with (more so than Maiden anyway). So this is my extremly personal "From Inferior to Prime" (since I assumed AMG copyrighted that other sentence). Anyway, I'm not the least ashamed to borrow stuff like this blantantly. Also, I now linked to the guy's site twice, so he should actually be glad ;-)

This is my personal From Inferior to Prime 12-10 feautring the pride of Portugal. 

#12. Alpha Noir (2012)

1. Axis Mundi
2. Lickanthrope
3. Versus
4. Alpha Noir
5. Em Nome Do Medo
6. Opera Carne
7. Love is Blasphemy
8. Grandstand
9. Sine Missione

Yeah, yeah, I know that 'Alpha Noir' and 'Omega White' are "siblings" and that I (sort of) reviewed them both together back in 2012. But since they are two albums that sound so very different between each other, it wouldn't be fair to judge them together. So I wont.

I gave this album 5 out of 10 in said review, but 3 years later, it hasn't exactly grown on me. Quite the contrary, I consider this the crappiest album Moonspell has ever released. Why is that you ask? Well, for one reason - I stand by the fact that it was a huge misstake to make one "aggressive" and one "soft" album. The beauty with the music of Moonspell is that they are so damn good at blending said aggressiveness with mellow parts. What you have here is 40 minutes of almost non-stop "modern metal" with keyboards and and screamed vocals. Usually, there's two or three songs on a weak Moonspell-album that at least gives the album some saving grace. 'Love is Blasphemy' is - apart from a very embarrassing song-title - almost an OK song and there are some parts in the instrumental outro 'Sine Missione' that almost makes the leap from OK to good. Almost. But those moments cannot save an album that have the wannabe-black metal that is 'Lickanthrope' or the "we-haven't-written-a-rock-n'-roll-song-before" that is 'Versus' - seriously THE WORST song Moonspell has ever written.

So the verdict is this: The riffs are boring, the melodies are non-memorable, the keyboards are uninspired and vocalist Fernando basically sounds tired. This is without a doubt the most inferior album these portugese lads ever have written.


#11. Omega White (2012)
1. Whiteomega
2. White Skies
3. Fireseason
4. New Tears Eve
5. Herodisiac
6. Incantantrix
7. Sacrificial
8. A Greater Darkness

As with it's sibling above, there's few things that I can say that I already didn't say in my earlier review. It is a much slower and more mellow album than it's big-brother and it also has way more atmosphere and a total lack of screams. I still claim that 'Whiteomega' is more or less a soft copy of 'Scorpion Flower', but I seem to be alone in this claim. And 'White Skies', 'Fireseason' and 'A Greater Darkness' are those three redeeming songs that saves a mediocre Moonspell-album that I spoke about earlier. Even though they are just OK.

The album mixes slower songs with a bit more up-tempo ones, but most choruses are unmemorable and apart from the three that I already mentioned, the songs lack memorable melodies and most of the choruses are either so god damn bland ('Incantantrix') or downright embarrassing ('Herodisiac'). Although far from being as utter dull and pointless as 'Alpha Noir' was, 'Omega White' isn't exactly the summit of Moonspell's discography...


#10. Darkness and Hope (2001)
1. Darkness and Hope
2. Firewalking
3. Nocturna
4. Heartshaped Abyss
5. DevilRed
6. Ghostsong
7. Rapaces
8. Made of Storm
9. How We Became Fire
10. Than the Serpents in my Arms
11. Os Senhores Da Guerra

When this was released back in 2001 I had discovered loads of other bands and grown kinda bored of Moonspell. I bought the album, listened to it a couple of times and more or less forgot about it completely. It has sort of always been the album in Moonspell's discography that I keep forgetting. For this section, I had to go back and listen to it in it's entirety for the first time again in god know's how many years. Will I keep forgetting about it in the future then?

Unfortunately, it still isn't a very good album. I don't know what the band thought when they decided to open an album with such a forgettable song as the title track is - it almost sounds as if Fernando is falling asleep whilst singing FFS! I remember that I enjoyed the hell out of 'Firewalking' back in the days and I still do - it is an extremely good song that is completely misplaced on this not-so-very-good album and thus, sadly forgotten. On the contrary, I never cared for 'Nocturna' at all back in the days - it just felt like a quickly written semi-ballad for teenage goths. Well maybe it is, but I actually like it's atmosphere and the hooks. I was surprised how good it sounded today. So, we're three songs into the album and we're looking at one snooze-fest and two songs way above average so far. Looks promising doesn't it? But 'Heartshaped Abyss' is an absolute travesty of a song without any direction whatsoever and a cringe-worthy chorus that leaves a sour aftertaste. 'DevilRed' quickly turn things around and is definitely one of the better songs on the album. But most of my praises stops there, both 'Ghostsong' and 'Rapaces' sounds unfinished and things only continue downhill from there. Sure, there are a few redeeming qualities in parts of 'How We Became Fire' and 'Than the Serpents in my Arms' but those are few and far between. If you did as I did back in 2001, and bought the limited box-edition, you could also get the opportunity to get your ears raped by a disgraceful cover of Ozzy Osbourne's 'Mr. Crowley'. What's even worse, is that said song is (probably) recorded or mixed elsewhere than the rest of the album, but having way more punch to the guitars and a much better drum sound as well.

'Darkness and Hope' is, together with #9 on my list (still to come) one the most uneven Moonspell-albums to date. I find it sad that songs such as 'Firewalking', 'Nocturna' and 'DevilRed' all are buried and forgot in this sea of mediocrity. The album as a whole is not very memorable at all and the production is far inferior to all their earlier works. Now that I re-visit it, I feel like it could have been so much better.


Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 9-7
Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 6-4
Moonspell From Inferior to Prime: 3-1