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Not the rating, no that's not a mistake, the mistake is made by you people, that in great numbers you go and nuke this one.
First of all thank you everyone there, Vampire pseydoRomanticist Goth Soldiers. Yeah, someone should tell all of you that some efforts are more original and more eccentrical than your usual everyday I-AM-A-DARK-BITCH stuff.
This album is one of the ODD Moonspell albums. Under the Moonspell is another one. They are odd in the sense that they could not be easily categorized in some fuckin trend. Where Wolfheart was black metal without blastbeats and with keys/samples, where Irreligious was Goth stuff with some angry parts and generally more metal mentality than your average shit (actually I adore that album, it's not on of their shit albums), where Darkness and Hope was HIM disguised as Moonspell, Sin/Pecado is something fucking else. A best way to describe this thing would be something like Sisters of Mercy with
Depeche Mode influences living in the mediterranean. Yeah this album's got some goth inside but hey, it takes it to a whole new level, there's A LOT of wonderful and strange melody inside this album. The fact that it is not catchy by any means (with the exception of the 2ndSk1n shit) shows to you my dear vampires, that you cannot classify that in something like Goth Rock wasted shit. No this is not your average HIM, THIS IS NOTHING LIKE HIM OR SHIT LIKE THAT.
VERY IMPORTANT: Why this album gets 85% and not something like 93%? The answer is simple, this would get a very high rating but there's something about it. Some songs are pure shit and should be wiped off this album, some even give me a feeling of self-parody. Generally the album has a feeling of self-parody which is good at some parts but songs like Dekadence and Second Shit should be nuked. But however, this spoils about an 8% of my rating.
Let's do a zoom in. First of all there is an intro that kind of resembles to allah akbar intro from Under the Moonspell and in the end Fernando says "SlowDown, God can't hear you". Wooohooo let's get to the real songs, HandMadeGod is pure magnificence. Atmospherical Mediterranean stuff with a rock and a goth vibe into it, fuckin A, fuckin awesome. Check out this track's solo, great arabic/mediterranean stuff. From what I can make out this SlowDown/HandMadeGod kinda rejects god or religion or I don't know what exactly, probably talking to all these praying assholes and stating "Slow Down" (the arabic stuff there is of an islamic mosque praying thing). But Moonspell does this in style, no blind pseydointellectual or pseydosatanic shit of Black Metal with PAGAN PAGAN GODS GUD KRIST DØD KRIEG KRAFT KVLT SHIT like that and a horde of Satyrs and other "visionary" warriors to besiege us with cannons firing horse shit. Moonspell instead maintains a level of irony which is fuckin great. Then we go to Second Skin which is a LOOK-AT-US-WE-HAVE-A-CD-SINGLE crap. Forget this shit. Abysmo has a good mediterranean vibe too and in a faster pace than HandMadeGod more catchy but still good. I can't understand a thing of the lyrics (as for most of the album but they're actually fun to read and kinda build images in your mind which is ok for me, these are poems not the bombarding of logical statements of some lawyer-soldier). Ok Flesh/Magdalene are fucking A too. Flesh is a magnificent arabic intro to Magdalene and Magdalene is a very emotional and interesting song. It reminds me of something oriental (again) and the lyrics are cool (...and illogical too :P ). It is a VERY original style of a song, go listen to that vampire-warriors. After that we've got a kind of a letdown as I don't really see the interesting thing in V.C. Gloria Domini and EuroticA. Eurotica isn't that baaaad but I wouldn't even listen to it more than once. Mute is magnificent and is in the vein of HandMadeGod but more emotional. Great. Then the second letdown, Dekadance is pure shit (with the exception of a good solo) and Let the children... is not something important and definately not something that remains in your mind. What we have last? The beauty called the Hanged Man which is probably the lightest track in this album but is one of the best too... Oh, and a strange outro, that's all.
It seems kind of strange to me that Moonspell would put out an album like that, yeah, they are FUCKIN ULTRA SUPER experimental always but this one seems to me so positively ignorrant to the intentions of their fans. Would seem to me more like a project of Fernando but not a Moonspell LP. This is an album that small quantities of people are able to understand. You've got to dig through your psychological black metal warrior or Vampire-soldier problems to find the beauty of this. This is no PAGAN stuff I GOT FUCKIN TIRED OF PAGAN STUFF. This is cool NON-CATCHY mediterranean atmospheric rock. This melodies and voices organically merge with the lyrics that with their illogical and ironical side mock (I hate this word it reminds me of the ANUS warriors) some shit that has sat like a well-fed pig in our lives. Things like religion and/or taboos and shit like that. So, even the lyrics are very good for me. I hate when people reject lyrics they don't understand. Even if they look very illogical. I mean, are DIMMU BORGIR's lyrics more logical? Hey, not in any sense. ....baaahh Fernando was either dumb or he didn't give a fuck if this would sell, I can't make sense to it otherwise.
If you are a fan of MOONSPELL.... ....MOOOOONSPELLLL and not just a fan of dark gay vampire goth stories, you're probably going to like this one. If you like mediterranean or kind of oriental music, you're gonna like that. The good thing is that this is no ETHNIC stuff. I think ETHNIC stuff is too far-fetched, I want more caution when deciding to put influences like that in the music. And I am well satisfied by this album because of that, too. To sum it all up, this album doesn't belong, it is the most anarchist thing put out by Moonspell, it is deep, it is weird and it is anti-genre-defined. It is fucking M.O.O.N.S.P.E.L.L. and it is great music too.
Listen to: Handmade God, Magdalene, Mute, Hanged Man
Better stay away from: Second Skin and Dekadance
Moonspell have been a band cursed with an idiotic fan base. A fan base who aparently never actually listens to Moonspell's music and instead reacts on some instinctive cave man level intellegence. This metal, this not metal. But in the end through Moonspell's long career, if one has heard the Wolfheart album then one has heard the heart of everything they've done since, including this much hated album.
Sin/Pecado is hated for no particular reason I can tell except it is somehow more pop, anti-metal and rockist. When in the end it is none of these things. Yes it is lighter and less extreme, but Moonspell have never been about extremity, the extreme vocals have always been very lightly used, the band has always been more focused on atmosphere and melody then heaviness and extremity. They simply took the less "metal" moments on Wolfheart and Irreligious and based an album around it, without losing the dark soul that marks all of their music. And indeed one finds that the very basics of their style is all here. Even the extreme vocals on a few songs. And this is no where as pop inspired as the next few albums. But then again just because music has good chorus' and a more structured writing style does not make it pop. And this album for example is not pop. It is in fact so uncommercial that it puts so called metal fans off.
Why all of this is, is hard to grasp at first. The music is more laid back, but the dark atmosphere is still here. Moonspell really drag you into a dark world like all of their releases. It's not exactly candy sweet at any moment on here. It is perhaps even more realistically dark then any of their other albums. In this darkness is the desolation of those who have fallen so far into decadence they cannot find a way out. Often one feels an essence of despair running through sensual delight. The band really manages to capture a good atmosphere.
Exactly how they capture this atmosphere is through more melodic guitar riffs, the same tribal driving drumming as is on every single Moonspell release, swirling keyboards, less ornately gothic then the last two albums, they are often less used then on Wolfheart even, except to back up the general atmosphere set by the guitars. A few songs put them on the front burner, and they do not let you down. There is a definite ethereal gothic feeling to the keyboards. Either you like that or not, I happen to. The vocals tie all the other elements together. The focus is on the clean crooning, his vocals are not as deep as on Wolfheart, but are still very deep and Sisters of Mercy-like. Perhaps with less of the Type O Negative stylings. There are a few touches of the screams of old. The melodies he sings always have a very dark feeling though, and even at times when the music seems less dark, the vocals manage to bring the dark atmosphere.
Now despite how much I like most of this album, a few songs fail, sometimes miserably, mainly a song like 2econd Skin. Everyone will find a few other songs to always skip over, but that is the main one for me. But this does not lead me to say this is the worst album ever like many fans. Sure it's not as conventionally heavy as Irreligious and maybe not as dark castle gothicky as Wolfheart, but it is still quality and is still Moonspell. Anyone who claims this is a big step down or even all that much different then Wolfheart obviously did not pay much attention to that album or to Moonspell in general. Moonspell created their own sound, and they stuck to it, while moving around at will within the confines they created for themselves on their first album. They have consistently up to this day even moved from the more metal aspects (Irreligious, The Antidote, Memorial) to the more gothic/ethereal aspects (Sin/Pecado) to the more gothic rock moments (Darkness and Hope, The Butterfly Effect).
Yes if you dislike more ethereal gothic rock then maybe you will dislike this album, but don't claim it to be weak because of that, and don't claim it to be a big step away from Moonspell's normal sound, because it isn't. Moonspell couldn't have been expected to make their first album over and over again, and if you have an open mind that isn't clogged then check this out. I personally enjoy it a lot, and I know there are others who feel the same. I've owned this album for over a year now and it has not grown boring in any way. In fact for me asides from a few songs it's easier to listen to this from beginning to end then even Wolfheart. Mainly because this album is not touted as being something it is not like that album always is.
Moonspell tore down all of the pre-conceptions around them on here, and I can only respect a band who has such blantant disregard for the majority of their fans. Rather then conform to the ideals set upon them they decided to do what they wanted. Many will hate them for it, but since they never exactly sold out or changed the basic princliples of their style I have no issues with Moonspell's developments. It's not exactly like they went the Ulver route. So in the end if you enjoy Moonspell's music and have always been scared from this album, well ignore the idiotic bad press and judge for yourself the dark experimental Sin/Pecado.
In 1998 Moonspell takes the figuritive stage. A legion of fans are awaiting to hear this music expecting something out of Wolfheart or even Under the Moonspell. They seemingly forget the fact that Moonspell has always been about experimentation, and when they hear this album they cry blasphemy.
"Where is Moonspell? Bring back Moonspell! You are not Moonspell!" They shout at this band who they view as fake. Bottles and rocks are thrown at the band who are forced to leave the stage.
Meanwhile in the distance a figure quietly applauds the bands stepping into this territory. Her clapping grows louder as the shouts and cries of the others die down. Soon everyone is looking at this person and in a moment are sharpening their knives ready to berate this person...
Alright I'll be clear I am a huge Moonspell fan no question about it. I first started with Wolfheart, then I got Darkness and Hope. After that I got "Under the Moonspell" "The Butterfly Effect" and "Sin/Pecado". All of these albums are differant musically. Moonspell is not and has never been a consintant band. For those wanting another Wolfheart forget it, because it will not happen.
Moonspell love to experiment with music which should not be condemned. It's a sad world in which one feels that exploring new territories is an utmost horrible thing to do. Oh no, this album isn't as metal as their other albums, oh let's all cry!
Is this Moonspells weakest album? I'm not too sure since I've yet to hear their entire discography, but with me giving it an 83/100 it is the lowest score I have given the band. 83/100 might seem too high to give to this album, but fuck... I actually enjoy it!
Call me what you well, but I see something very worthwhile in this album. So it doesn't have tons of blazing guitar solos and intense riffage. It has atmosphere! Everytime I listen to this album I'm taken somewhere else besides this world. I do grant that this album is more of gothic - atmospheric rock/metal album than it is pure folk/gothic metal. This album still has some of the bands metal structures. We can hear a guitar solos in the songs "Hand Made God" , "2econd Skin.", "Magdalena", and "Dekadance". For an album that's touted as not being metal it sure has alot of complex metal solos in the songs.
Let's be quant here, am I expected to give an album a 10 or less because it doesn't match their past music? I mean I gave Shadow of Death a 21% and that album was just inanely boring. Must I give the album a low score because it took a turn from metal? I've given several other albums a low score. Naah I think I'll be brave and review this album on the way it makes me feel, and it actually makes me feel something other than complete an utter boredom or depression.
I for one am proud to declare that I really enjoy this album. I actually like all of the atmospheric and industrial elements used. This is still Moonspell at the heart though. The music may be differant, but the heart and soul of it is still the same. Moonspell have always and will always be about taking the listener to another plane of existance. How they decide to do that is entirely up to them. If they want to do it with guitars, bass, lutes, and drums I'll enjoy it, and when they decided to do this album with drums, vocals, guitars, and programming I still support them.
But no, experimentation is the root of all that is evil. You'd best stay away from this kiddies if you value your souls. Hurry, he's coming after you, and he's ready to take your soul! He's already got mine! Hurry save yourselves before it's too late!
I for one enjoy being in the grasp.