Moonspell still sounds as fresh and as intense as they did during “Wolfheart”, and the production during this album is solid enough that is allows every different sound that Moonspell places to the disc to be captured in its original glory. The band was one of the first acts to blend together styles of classical and metal, well before acts like Cradle of Filth even began to think of the idea. This means that Moonspell has complete control over the emotions that individuals can show on this album.
Tracks like “Finisterra” go between a brutal type of metal and the more instrumental, Mortiis-like finesse that the band is known for. Something that listeners both new and old will notice about Moonspell on this disc is that every member of the band throws in equally; this means that listeners should not be amazed to hear the bass come forth in due time. In fact, the random nature of Moonspell during “Memorial” is enough that listeners will have little idea what is coming even a minute after. Interestingly enough, the heaviness that Moonspell brings to “Memorial” is not at a level that will turn casual listeners away. Tracks like “Memento Mori” could conceivably be played on Headbanger’s Ball or even the more progressive rock radio stations. There is no overarching theme present throughout the disc, but something that individuals pick up when listening to “Memorial” is that the band always tries to create the fullest sound possible. With tracks like “Blood Tells!”, there are five or six things happening with each second that passes; individuals will have to give “Memorial” multiple listens before being able to fully understand what the band is attempting to do with the disc.
The band vacillates between a number of styles, something that comes to a head by the time that Moonspell gets to “Upon The Blood of Men”. While there is still the same sort of progressive metal meets brutality that has marked previous sections of the disc, there are hints of hair metal that find their way to the forefront. This just shows that Moonspell does not run out of ideas for this disc; the band may have existed for quite awhile but they could last for a while longer without seeming as if they are just rehashing their earlier discs. Give this album a go if you are a fan of metal or of solid music in general.
Top Tracks: Memento Mori, Blood Tells!
Moonspell – Memorial / 2006 SPV / 13 Tracks / http://www.moonspell.com / http://www.spv.de / Reviewed 11 May 2006