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Moonspell - Darkness and Hope CD (album) cover

DARKNESS AND HOPE

Moonspell

 

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

2.72 | 17 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nhorf
1 stars This album isn't even a good one. This album isn't even an average one. This album absolutely SUCKS, in every sense of the word, this probably is the worst Moonspell record I have ever heard and one of the worst metal pieces I've ever came across.

Anyways, let's stop with this kind of stupid criticism and let's face the facts. This is boring gothic metal. This albums shows Moonspell trying to follow bands like Lacuna Coil and the result is a piece of generic, bland music. First of all, the songs sound incredibly similar to each other, following basic song structures. Also, you can forget the aggression and power that were present during the early times of the band. Fernando Ribeiro doesn't growl here (ok, he growls on TWO songs) and uses a lot more his clean voice – which, while good, just sounds too repetitive throughout the record, harming the whole listening experience. In fact, one of the biggest flaws of Darkness and Hope is its little variety, vocally and also instrumentally.

Instrumentally because the performances of the musicians are very, very lackluster. Ricardo Amorim surely is a talented guitar player, but on this piece his riffs sound lifeless and without any kind of feeling. Feeling and life, that's two another things that Darkness and Hope lacks. Moonspell tried to put a melancholic sound into this record, but they didn't succeeded; the band sounds like a group of emotionless robots, trying to write gothic music to fit in the rising gothic metal/rock circles. But the worst thing is that they had a fabulous past, their demos were very interesting (check out Under Satanae) and Wolfheart, despite not being a masterpiece, was a very solid record, containing elements of many metal sub-genres, all of them fantastically blended into the band's somewhat original sound. So, why change your sound, Moonspell? Anyways, I partially understand their reasons, after all every band needs to move on and try new things, but this album (unfortunately) is just an experimentation gone wrong.

But move on, let's get to the songs, shall we? One interesting fact is that the first three ones are actually listenable. The title track manages to retain a dark and doomy atmosphere, something that the band tried to repeat on Night Eternal's opener, At Tragic Heights. The whispering chorus is pretty good too. The second track, Firewalking, is, without doubts, the best song of the bunch, beginning quite well, with an angry-sounding riff (probably the only angry-sounding riff of the record), and featuring a catchy chorus and a good vocal performance. Nocturna is a perfect example of another gothic song done well, the drum patterns are very well composed and so is the main riff of the song, which manages to inject some feeling to it.

After those three tunes... Well, forget it. Every song sounds extremely similar to each other. Well, there are some good moments here and there, but the record lacks consistency, musicianship, feeling and CREATIVITY. Really, it's painful to compare songs like Heartshaped Abyss (with that boring chorus and stupid HIM-influenced lyrics) with, say, Wolfshade. At least with Night Eternal and Memorial they seem to have recovered some of the aggression that made their early albums what they are (unfortunately, the new records can be, at times, pretty raw, but still aren't that good). I think that the lyrics of Made of Storm can pretty much show you how bad this album is, lyrically... Just take a look:

“when Im inside her feels like she is made of Storm

I am the flood who likes the dirt and sleeps with it she is the soil with whom I flirt she rots within I am the flood who purifies She does not know shes f*cking with the Lord of Lies

when Im inside her feels like she is made of Storm”

And imagine those lines being sung by a monotonous singer with a deep, low voice... Blherc. Horrible. No variety, no creativity, no quality, no good lyrics... As you can see I recommend you to NOT get this album. Even Memorial sounds like a masterpiece compared to this crappy piece. Better avoid, lads.

PS: Ironically, the best songs of the album are the three covers, which I recommend you to get. One is a cover of the Portuguese fado champions, Madredeus, called Os Senhores da Guerra and it absolutely rules. The same thing with Ozzy's Mr. Crowley (oh the solos...) and Joy Division's Love Will Tear us Apart (one bazillion times better than the original, I must say). And one more thing, the artwork and the booklet suck too. Meh.

Best Moments of the CD: -Just one, the transition between Darkness and Hope and Firewalking, which is very well done.

Nhorf | 1/5 |

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