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Review: Moonspell - Darkness And Hope
Darkness And Hope

Label: Century Media
Year released: 2001
Duration: 49:33
Tracks: 11
Genre: Gothic Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 9, 2001
Reviewed by: Christian Renner
Readers Rating
Darkness And Hope

Rated 3.4/5 (68%) (5 Votes)

This is the sixth release from this band from Portugal and to be honest I had never heard anything from this band before. I had more than a few people tell me that I should check them out and I always meant to pick something up but since they were mentioned as being a Goth metal band I never put them near the top of a purchase list and they always seemed to get bumped off by the time I made the order. Let me explain my reasons a little further. I am not a big fan of the genre and the people that told me to check out Moonspell were also the ones that told me about checking out Tiamat. To put it lightly, Tiamat bored me. After receiving this in the mail the other day I was intrigued but wasn't really expecting a lot. I have to admit I made a mistake in not checking this band out sooner since if they're other albums are as good as this one I have been missing out.

I mentioned before I am not a big fan of Goth metal to start with but for some odd reason this album is really beginning to change my mind. I have listened to other things from this genre such as Tiamat and Theater of Tragedy and although I thought it was not too bad I was never really overly impressed. Through that experience I kind of stayed away from the genre. Maybe I was just in the right mood when I first listened to this because I thought it was excellent from start to finish but even on subsequent listens I still think this album kicks ass. The guitars on this are just killer with all of the minor-keyed riffs that along with the atmospheric style of the keyboard just add a really intense sonic delivery. The vocals switch from clean to a slightly harsh growl to whispered throughout the album and the intensity of the vocals are not only heard but also felt. The real star of the album however is the songwriting. These are just excellent, well crafted songs that run the gamut of emotion from dark and foreboding to light and hope. I also think the band gets a few bonus points for the excellent title which overall tells the listener exactly what to expect from the music contained on this disc.

Overall I can't see one fan of the Goth metal genre not liking this album and even people that were not really impressed with genre to begin with will want to check this out. Fans of the lighter metal side such as Sentenced and Amorphis I think will also like this quite a bit. Highly recommended.

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