Live at The Whisky a Go Go

West Hollywood, California

September 24th, 2018

Review and Photos by Travis Baumann

Portuguese gothic metalers, Moonspell return to North America as part of a power house night of dark metal with Amorphis, Dark Tranquility, and Omnium Gatherum building out a massive tour.

Moonspell have put out several albums since their last time through Los Angeles including their latest, "1755" and prior to that the exemplary "Extinct". Their latest effort is sung entirely in Portuguese and relays the horrific story of the earthquake of Lisbon from the year the album is named after.

Moonspell was founded back in 1992 by vocalist Fernando Ribeiro and drummer Miguel Gaspar. Shortly after they added Pedro Paixão on keys and orchestrations and Ricardo Amorim on lead guitar. Aires Pereira joined the band in 2004 on bass guitar and they have maintained a solid lineup for the last fourteen years.

Moonspell's sound ranges from deep moody gothic tracks with Fernando's baritone clean voice singing about extinction, love, and deadly flowers to a ferocious wolf's growl leading into more death metal endeavors and more destructive lyrical advances, sometimes all in one song.

Tonight they kicked off the set with "Em nome do medo" from the "Alpha Noir" album. Fernando came out wearing a long leather duster coat and wide brimmed hat swinging a large metal lantern from a heavy chain.

For "1755" and "In Tremor Dei" he donned a black leather plague doctor's mask with it's wicked beak and sinister lenses giving him the look of a demonic bird as he sung about the demise of Lisbon

One of my favorite classic albums from Moonspell is "Irreligious" so I was really excited when they did two in a row from it with "Opium" and "Awake!".

I absolutely love the "Extinct" album so another highlight of the set for me was "Breathe (Until We Are No More)". I wish Moonspell was the headliner on this night so we could have gotten a lot more of this album, but at least we got this amazing track.

They went back to their debut release, "Wolfheart" for the fan favorite "Alma Matter" before closing out their all too short set with the classic "Full Moon Madness" which had the packed Whisky singing along to the namesake chorus.

I have loved Moonspell since I first encountered them with their sophomore release "Irreligious" back in 1996 and have followed them through their many different styles over their eleven full length releases. My favorite is the dark romantic gothic albums such as "Extinct" and "Darkness and Hope" but I have honestly loved every release and highly recommend checking them out.

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