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One of their most intriguing to date - 80%

autothrall, November 2nd, 2009

After a steady progression into gothic rock during their mid-career period (which produced some excellent results, I might add), Moonspell have returned to their roots. Recent albums like The Antidote and Memorial have embraced the harsher climes of the band's early work Wolfheart, but with a touch more death metal feel. Night Eternal continues this spiral, yet thankfully doesn't neglect the atmospheric grace of those middle years.

The album begins with the scorching "At Tragic Heights", a real fist pounder drenched in Fernando's unmistakable black/death barking. The leash is off. "Night Eternal" has a little more mystique to it, and I really enjoyed how they took a simple death metal riff and doused it in dark atmosphere. A little less heavy, "Shadow Sun" has a creepy gothic tinge to it, with sexy whispered vocals, then a rocking out chorus riff which then finally erupts into a section similar to the first tune. "Scorpion Flower" is more of a straight up gothic metal track with dual male/female vocals, the latter of which I might be able to do without. But this doesn't last, for "Moon in Mercury" is right back to the aggressive style dominating much of the album. Perhaps the most glorious track is "Hers is the Twilight" with that great, simple guitar line as the chorus picks up, and an atmosphere that reminds me of the band's third album Irreligious.

The result of all this is one of the best and most intriguing Moonspell albums to date, though I still hold that The Butterfly Effect was their masterpiece (and I may be one of the few people on Earth to think that way). They've never quite released a bad album, but if you've been waiting for these guys to get heavy again, this is the best effort of that return to date. Worthy of gothic metal afficionados, especially if you value good lyrics, which writer Ribeiro excels in

'A revelation with every cut:
Infidel to all creeds
Breaker of all vows
Enemy of happy ends
Confident of the dead'