Moonspell – “Lisboa Under The Spell” 3CD/ 3LP/ DVD (Napalm Records)
Acknowledged as Portugal’s biggest metal band, Moonspell have been going since the early 90s, releasing 11 studio albums yet only 1 live album during that time. As such, with fan demand for another live release reaching fever point, the band have returned with such a lavish package that doesn’t just make up for it, but actually blows everything else this year into space ha ha. Indeed, it doesn’t come any finer than this and quite possibly is Napalm Records most ambitious project to date! Packing out the 4,000 seater Campo Pequeno in Lisbon with their hometown fans, Moonspell have chosen to play – in entirety – 3 albums taken from their beginnings in “Wolfheart” and “Irreligious” to lately “Extinct” unbelievably in one gargantuan show stretching across 3 hours! It’s an awesome achievement in itself and how both the band and their fans make it is down to one thing: love. Beyond the passionate gothic metal and onstage action, what comes across abundantly is the bond between them and that’s captured beautifully on “Lisboa Under The Spell”, which goes well beyond a live music release into a film about the band themselves. Unlike other live releases, the film actually begins in the days prior to this landmark show, offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of the members, their families and their outside lives. As the build up begins, their emotions are expressed and you get a unique, first hand perspective of what it means to be in a big band facing probably what is your greatest show. What is even more moving however, is post the musical marathon, vocalist Fernando Ribeiro’s personal post script filmed on a hand held as he invites you to his ‘after show party’ – in fact, his quiet hotel room and a nocturnal stroll in the early hours (naturally under a full moon heh heh) offering his perspective on success, talent and melancholia. What with all that, the perfect performances split into 3 Acts and the band varying their garb and make up to match, are spectacular, not in the least thanks to the unflappable Lisbon crowd who match the band at every point, singing, roaring, and clapping to classics such as ‘Full Moon Madness’, ‘Vampiria’ and ‘Raven Claws’ – not forgetting the other 26 tracks! Needless to say, an absolute must for the Moonspell fan, but equally, the definitive release for anyone wanting to check out this legendary band.