|Review: Moonspell - The Antidote|
Label: Century Media
Year released: 2003
Genre: Gothic Metal
Review online: February 27, 2004
Reviewed by: 4th Horseman
Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (10 Votes)
After Wolfheart, nothing Moonspell had done was overly impressive (Yes Irreligious was not bad but nothing to write home about either). Darkness and Hope was another decent effort but didn't really hit the spot. The Antidote on the other hand not only hit the spot, but is arguably their heaviest album yet. Heavy? Yes. Best? No! Wolfheart still seems to stand firm as the band's crowning achievement with The Antidote coming in right after. Although there really isn't much growling on here (aside from the first track), this album has guitars slowly crawling into your brains from all corners!
In addition to the really cool cover, booklet and music of course, what is especially cool about the album, is that it is one of those 'enhanced' CDS and comes with a novel written by Portuguese writer Jose Luis Peixoto titled 'Antidote' on which this album is based and a video of the track Everything Invaded. This is what I found absolutely intriguing about this album….the interactive novel which acts like an appendix to the songs on the CD (or vice versa if you want). Each track is based in the same vein as each chapter of the novel. So if you enjoy the themes in the music and want to explore more, there is plenty more waiting for you!
The music…aside from being heavy is also quite atmospheric, eerie and is performed with conviction. But there is actually some 'filler' here. I understand the band is trying to create an evil, sorrow-filled and sinful atmosphere, but seriously guys…..the extra long and pansified over-extended intro to Lunar Still was a bit much; considering the fact that the track wasn't all that to begin or end with anyway even after it actually picked up. Simple annoyance is the emotion that it generated.
But aside from some problems, this album would definitely get my recommendation. Tracks like Antidote, A Walk On The Dark Side, In Above Men and of course Crystal Gazing have excellent riffs and hooks drawing you in right at the first listen! It is scary and haunting, especially if you pay attention to the lyrics and themes. And the creepy voice of Fernando Riberio won't let you go that easily either. He sounds so much better when he is not growling….So freakish! Just close your eyes and be prepared to start imagining weird and spooky things! That's the fun in this album ;).
The Antidote doesn't really take multiple steps forward from their previous efforts; it is actually quite similar to their last album. Everything about the songs is almost the same, only just increased in intensity and the guitar comes to the forefront here; which seems to have made a world of difference! Overall, this is good Gothic Metal! Best I've heard in a while! Go get it.
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