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Tragic, yet violent - 75%

doomknocker, October 26th, 2010

It’s nigh impossible to find good gothic music, especially on the metallic side of things. Now, granted, I suppose being “gothic” is different now than it was when I was a lad (the 90s, back when things made a hell of a lot more sense in more ways than one), and as such “gothic” music is a different entity, but the burdens of time prove detrimental in this inasmuch as it does all other factors of life. The Marilyn Manson angst was replaced with moody Heartagram worship, which in turn was replaced with “Twilight” obsessions, all of whom, in turn, perverted the likes of Cradle of Filth and Type O Negative like so many second-hand bong hits, and…*ahem*…well, as you can see, it’s quite the devolutionary pratfall. And as such, finding good “gothic” music, is, well, like I’d said, nigh impossible to do.

That was put to the test when dealing with their latest…

What makes Moonspell’s gothic metallic leanings that much more palatable on my end is that they don’t beat you over the head with spiked bracelets and dripping eye-liner. Much like CoF before them, MOONSPELL use a black metal foundation to keep things nice and brutal while branching off into those Hot Topicky realms in a more sophisticated manner. That helped their later works become necessary listens no matter which side of the depressive spectrum you reside on, and when it comes to “Night Eternal”, that sensation helped makes it as good a listen as it is. The Type O Negative-like graveyard-dwelling darkness acts as a nice augmentation to the harsh metallic nastiness rather than a distraction, and that coupled musical duo wraps around the listener like a slowly closing fist. There’s plenty to enjoy, even for the more casual listener, where the midnighty melodies and head-banging elements seem more than enough to satisfy in terms of ability and being able to fit with one another like so many fittable puzzle pieces. For what it’s worth, the central scheme of things is more on the metallic end, more “The Antidote” than “2econd Skin”, in which twisted yet melodic guitar riffs/leads, creepy keyboard lines, punishing drum bashing and monstrous roaring/serene singing straddle that fine line between accessibility and the original evil heaviness as well as a group of their caliber can. In all my bitter honesty, this is a very solid product, a fine example of the kind of metal that should be taken and enjoyed in their era of -core bullshit, where one can (and should) jump through the crushing likes of “Night Eternal” and “Moon in Mercury” as well as the more soothing tracks like “Scorpion Flower” and “Dreamless (Lucifer and Lilith)” with the greatest of ease and enjoyment. Raging and emotional. And damn fine.

In the end, “Night Eternal” is the impressive solidification of what makes Moonspell as great as they are. While this may or may not appeal to their older-generation-type fans, this should still be enjoyed for what it is. Recommended.