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Moonspell - Darkness And Hope

They're breaking my heart, these guys. Fortunately it's not because Darkness And Hope (their latest and probably greatest) sucks, but the sheer myopic forlornness has a way of creeping under your skin and shitting all over what would otherwise be a perfectly sunny day. That said, with this new record, Moonspell have managed to weed out the unnecessary strands of their fractured psyche and settle the remainder into a more comfortably manageable template for the solid song craft found here. Obviously, these guys wouldn't have arrived here without the artistic (and commercial) trailblazing of Type O Negative in the metal community, but aside from a token influence Moonspell rise above such comparisons, taking the goth metal tangent absolutely seriously, eschewing the sardonic soul ribbing of Type O for a less playful romp through fields of wilted daisies and windblasted oaks. There are as many legitimate old school goth touchstones here as metal, such as the Dave Gahan-meets-Nick Cave vocal mannerisms of Fernando Ribeiro to the Cultish ringing chords of "Heartshaped Abyss" and "Nocturna", among others (the prominent mixing of bass and drums is also a bit nostalgic in intention). All that aside, Moonspell is no retro camp act; shades of metal in all manner and alloy pop up, as do other modern touches such as the Reznoresque elastic bass throb of "Rapaces". The originality of Darkness And Hope is not of the virtuosic sort. Almost everything sounds familiar the first run through, and those with superficial tastes may never bother to dissect the cunning amalgamation of styles, which are, thankfully, laid on just thick enough to suit the composition. Shave off the unnecessary cover of "Mr. Crowley" (which will garner the most Type O comparisons) and what's left is ten tracks of elaborate sonic perfection.

Added: February 25th 2002
Reviewer: Jeremy Ulrey
Score:
Related Link: Century Media Records
Hits: 2611
Language: english

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