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One hundred and eighty degree turn - 100%

kluseba, January 20th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2018, 3CD + DVD + blu-ray, Napalm Records (Digipak)

Moonspell has been around for nearly three decades and its fans have anxiously been waiting for a first proper live record. The horrid Lusitanian Metal ten years earlier was a cheap way to cash in by the band's former label that released a lackluster performance that had been recorded more than four years before its release. Lisboa Under the Spell was worth the wait as it offers everything fans have been craving for. In my opinion, the band performed its three greatest studio albums live back to back in its hometown. The band offers twenty-nine songs with a running time close to three hours for the ultimate gothic metal experience. Wolfheart represents the band's very early years inspired by black and folk metal. Irreligious is an atmospheric and concise gothic metal milestone. Extinct is the band's most creative, diversified and energetic release since its first two studio albums.

Everything on this record is executed perfectly. The production is authentic and energetic yet one can clearly distinguish each instrument and hear all of the interactions and lyrics. The clean and harsh vocals are stunningly variable and refreshingly sharp. The guitar riffs are bittersweet and find the perfect balance between power and emotion. The rhythm section is the concise backbone of the performance. The keyboards add atmospheric layers at the right moments. The crowd is audible, enthusiastic and participating. The interactions between the singer and the crowd are very dynamic even though I can't understand all of them since the communication is done in Portuguese. A few select guest singers add some entertaining diversity at the right moments. The DVD and BluRay editions include some additional material in form of a documentary, making of and slide show which I don't need personally but add value for money. The cover artwork is absolutely gorgeous and completes this outstanding release visually.

Ironically, Moonspell has released one of the worst and one of the greatest live albums I have ever listened to. I will even go further and say that Lisboa Under the Spell is the best gothic live album that has ever been released. If you can identify with the gothic scene, you must purchase this stunning release. Enjoy this massive record to the fullest and be under the spell. Let's hope the band will release other live records of similar quality and maybe perform three other great records in a row.