Moonspell – “Alpha Noir”

Moonspell – “Alpha Noir” (Napalm Records)

Moonspell are Portugal’s premier metal band. When I first saw them in the mid 90s they were a blackish metal band, and since then they’ve evolved more towards goth metal and these days into a self described ‘dark metal’ band who owe their influences as much towards the Sisters Of Mercy as much as to Type O Negative. “Alpha Noir” is probably their most ambitious project in their career, not in the least because the special edition will contain a twin album – “Omega White” – that contains material especially dedicated to those aforementioned bands! “Alpha Noir” itself is an incendiary album to say the least with raw, growling vocals mixed with neo gothic metallic riffs and a pounding rhythm topped off with dark keyboard atmospherics and haunting melodies on songs like ‘Love Is Blasphemy’, ‘Axis Mundi’ and the decadently titled ‘Lickanthrope’. Although by no means original, Moonspell have had the best part of two decades to work this style to perfection and the result is no better captured than on this exquisite album that exudes sophistication but not without savagery!

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