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You know, it was predictable what Moonspell did after the magnificent, earthly debut album 'Wolfheart' (1995). All the signs were in the air, especially following more poppy 'Sin / Pecado' (1997). Sometimes, bands are just way too adventurous for their own good! What is it with this "let's not stagnate" shite, tell me please?!
'Sin / Pecado' is nothing poppy when compared to the band's fourth album, 'The Butterfly Effect'. Gone are all the folky elements, and also metal for a big part, I'm afraid. Moonspell decided to lift this bloody Depeche Mode via Marilyn Manson shit to the front. Guitar work is simple power riffing at its heaviest, but isn't actually heavy and for nobody's surprise, those riffs are played after a calmer parts. The electronics have stolen a lot of space from the guitars, but it's the synth work that creates those few melodies heard on the album, since the guitars are played to create textures or aforementioned power riffs. The band tried to be industrial, but fell on their faces. On the other edge of musical spectrum, it is somekind of very soft rock. When someone like Butthole Surfers do this kind of stuff, it might be funny, but when Moonspell do it, I'm ripping my hair. Generally, the music is very bland, no matter what styles it goes through during its almost 58 minutes.
'Can't Bee', what a joyful word-play! "All the spineless people will walk again, will agitate and ejaculate". Decadent and naughty lyrics, I guess, but all the same uninteresting. William S. Burroughs is one important influence and Bret Easton Ellis is also mentioned. When Fernando Ribeiro articulates his words, he does it through not bad growling to very soft singing. He just isn't a very good singer and his pronunciation isn't good, either. The drums sound programmed (soundwise I mean, they are clearly played by Mike Gaspar, well most of them anyway), which is the pinnacle of the truth that the band wanted this album to sound electronic. Only a couple of calm songs sound more earthly, namely 'Can't Bee' and 'Disappear Here'.
This adventurous expedition did not work out for Moonspell. The band tried to be oh-so-dark, but manages to be boring, unintelligent and grey in the bad sense of the word, and I don't find any soul in here. For me, the band fucked up really bad with this album. And do not come telling me I don't get it, please, because I get it too well (I do own electro pop albums and whatnot, which I do enjoy listening to). I simply cannot get into this music at all. A huge disappointment, after a smaller one.
(originally written for ArchaicMetallurgy.com in 2006)