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Pure Greatness - 98%

GangstaMonocle, March 2nd, 2004

This album plain and simply blew me away upon first hearing of it. Every time since, it has gotten even darker and sweeter.

Opener Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) is one of the strongest points on the album. The mellow opening really sets the mood before kicking into overdrive and creating the sound of melancholy and horror. The vocals on this album are immediately noticeable, being a semi-blackened growl or full blown Dracula singing.

The next two tracks are two of the fastest on the album, that being Love Crimes and Midnight Ride. Love Crimes switches paces often, and is one of the best songs on the album. The ending cool down period is longer than it should be, but it helps to flow right into Midnight Ride, maybe the fastest song on the album. Next up is Lua D'Inverno, which is just a very short acoustic track. Serves it's purpose though, flowing into Trebreruna, which is sung in the band's native language of Portuguese. It has a very folky feel to it, not exactly something you'd expect from a band like Moonspell.

Vampiria comes next. This song is 100% gothic through and through, and while enjoyable, is my least favorite track on the CD. After this comes An Erotic Alchemy, which is a story based song using female vocals and an assload of keyboards.

The final track on the album is Alma Mater, and it is my favorite by far. This song is more or less black metal, with the vocals much harsher than before, and the guitars faster and heavier. The song is sung in both English and Portuguese, adding to the feel greatly. The haunting melodies of the Final ‘Alma Mater’ chants are haunting and one of the highest points on the album.

On the import version, there is a bonus track called Aetigna, which is a lot like Trebreruna in it’s folk sound. It’s worth getting the import version for this song if you’re not paying too much more.

All in all, this CD is a complete champ and should be owned by everyone.

Top Three Tracks:
Alma Mater
Love Crimes
Wolfshade