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I suppose a good way to start this review is to say that I've heard two Moonspell albums: Wolfheart and The Butterfly Effect. Obviously, I was enthralled by Wolfheart and was hoping something similar when I picked up Butterfly. Shit, was I wrong. Since then I've had no reason whatsoever to look into their back catalog of albums or seek new releases as I didn't like what I was hearing (reading). Enter anno 2008 and here I am reading better things. And for once, actually HEARING better things.
All the Goth touches, albeit female vocals, have been left behind (hopefully in a blood-stained heap) for a jugular-slicing advance of the mystical hey-day of Wolfheart, but with even more gusto. Langsuyar and his band of merry men (and women) have put together a savage album that definitely goes against any misconceptions I had.
Possessing a heavy tone wrought with staccato riffing and excellent drum work, this sits on the fence of progressive and blackened thrash. The vocals have been lifted out of the fondue and sound more relaxed and natural. The ballad-y 'Dreamless' is a perfect example of this.
Free of Opethian enthusiasm as a means to reach wider audiences, the album exudes a level of maturity not found in those 'goth' circles. Can we even consider them for that category any more?