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Under the Moonspell - 83%

Silmaril, May 25th, 2003

This EP starts in a rather strange way for a metal album. Track #1 consists of arabic sounds accompanied by the Muezzin calls that are heard on mosques, to serve as a mystic intro to this EP.
Track #2 is my personal favourite of this cd, it combines a mystic oriental feeling with melodic symphonic black metal, the guitar melodies are eastern-tinged and even a gong is there!
The vocals aren't exactly black metal, but they're slightly harsh, and alternate with rather clean vocals and a few female words here and there.
The arabic influence is all over this track, with the keyboard and the guitar giving a sniff of Middle East. Finally, the last one and a half minute of this track is entirely based on a Portuguese acoustic guitar.
Track #3, with harsher vocals than the first, is at first slightly different, the lyrics being more satanist than on the first track, and the female voice gives a sort of horror-feeling to it. The final moments are again influenced by Mediterranean sounds.
As for track #4, this is slightly different than the previous ones, the sound is less heavy and the vocals are clean. The lyrics consist of two pieces, the first is a short poem written by the vocalist, the second is an extract of Marquis de Sade, followed by female orgasmic moans and a violin background.
Finally, track #5 is an instrumental track intirely on a Portuguese acoustic guitar and with sea waves in the background.
Overall, this cd is indeed interesting, and somehow hard to categorize, it's similar to black metal, but I guess it can't be considered as pure black metal, and it's different than the actual albums released by Moonspell. Feel free to give your own category!