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Midnight Ride! - 95%

Crimsonblood, October 7th, 2002

Wolfheart, the debut from Moonspell, is a classic disc in my opinion- in fact it’s probably one of the best debuts in the Gothic Metal genre. If you ever want a great indication as to what variation in a CD sounds like, just use Wolfheart as a prime example. No one song sounds the same, yet, a consistent feel is common throughout the CD; it is almost like a perfect mix.

Despite the Gothic Metal moniker, Moonspell incorporate a lot of other elements that give the CD a very strong breath of fresh air. There are progressive elements ( “Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)” ), folk elements ( “Trebaruna” ), and Black Metal elements ( “Alma Mater” ) dappled throughout the CD, although they are not limited to the songs mentioned. All the elements mix very well with the Gothic overtones and symphonic keys, and speaking of the keys, they are very well used. Providing mostly atmosphere with heavy synth, they also contain piano and folk passages. The vocals are another highlight; Fernando Ribeiro provides us with the common two style vocal usage. The first style is more of a Black Metal screech than the often-used Death Metal growl, and his clean voice reminds me a lot of Peter Steele from Type O Negative. Much like Steele, Ribeiro has the ability to sing with a very deep voice as well as more toned down singing style, which also works suitably. Female vocals are also used, but not on a full time basis. The vocals, in conjunction with the keys and the guitars/bass deliver an excellent atmosphere that I think Moonspell have yet to recreate. The production is very well done, especially the bass drum sound. Those double kicks on “Vampira” (my favorite track) sound nice and powerful, just like they should! And as I mentioned, those progressive elements are really well implemented, making a lot of the songs long, epic, but not pointless. Instead they manage to control the listener’s attention throughout, and give the CD a lot of replay ability.

I would say there are no real low points on this CD; there is no filler, no fluff, and no bullshit. Moonspell put together an original and intelligent release with Wolfheart and any Gothic fans who haven’t picked this up yet, I suggest you to do so.

Song Highlights: Wolfshade, Love Crimes, Vampira, Of Dream And Drama, and Alma Matter