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Moonspell, "Darkness and Hope" Album Review

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

moonspell-darkness-and-hope-album-review

Darkness and Hope Is An Album That Is Appropriate for the Challenge We Face Now

Darkness and Hope is the 2001 studio album by Portugal’s Gothic Metal band Moonspell and this album might as well be on your listening list since we are still in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic and so many people are tired of the current situation and it is really difficult for them to have any hope. To say that Moonspell is at least partially influenced by the band Paradise Lost would be really accurate even if their music is some of the most obscure stuff for the metal fan to get their hands on.

The First Really Good Song In "Darkness and Hope"

“Firewalking” is one of the first Moonspell songs that I was exposed to and let’s just say that it is one of the catchiest Moonspell songs of all time. The clean vocal start certainly makes this one of those that you can enjoy even in 2022. The best line in that song is “try firewalking inside of me when everything falls apart.” Just like Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil, Fernando Ribeiro uses a growling style but I get the sense that Fernando was born for this kind of style and his outstanding effort really shows in this song.

Style and Lyrical Themes for Moonspell's 5th Album

The Gothic rock nature of the more modern Paradise Lost albums is still retained here and Fernando Ribeiro still uses his death metal vocal style especially in songs such as Firewalking as we discussed above. The album lyrically touches on subjects such as Satan (Devilred) and the sin of human nature (Nocturna). That song is missing one letter, l which would have made that song’s title Nocturnal. It is said that some animals are nocturnal meaning that they come out at night. “Ghostsong” is one of those that sees Fernando do one of his best vocal jobs and I would say that it is in the section called the pre-chorus.

A Brief Interpretation of the Album's Title

The album’s title of Darkness and Hope can symbolically mean the battle of good versus evil but also, in these current times that we are in, even if there are dark times, there are still reasons to remain hopeful yet cautiously optimistic.

"Firewalking"

Analysis of the Songs in "Darkness and Hope"

The album starts out with the title track and again, let me state that there is a symbolic and literal feel for the album’s title. In life, there are both moments of darkness and moments where there is reason for optimism. For the people of Portugal, the band Moonspell is one of the reasons that they can work on finding ways to remain optimistic. Five albums in and into what was then a new decade at the time, Moonspell solidified themselves by this point as one of the best metal bands in their country. Darkness and Hope is a delightful departure from their debut album Wolfheart and the reason is that most of the songs flow so well together and Fernando shows that he can be a decent clean vocal type of front man. This album has that catchy yet dark feel to it as well especially with some of the lyrics. One example of this is in the song “Heartshaped Abyss.” Lyrically based on a decent guess, the song is about being tempted to join forces with a firewalker or a pessimist. The firewalker in this song may be one of Satan’s followers. If Moonspell’s previous album The Butterfly Effect was described as something much different than what they had done before, this album is stylistically different as well because of a better vocal job by Fernando. Don’t allow the lyrical themes of this album dissuade you from listening to what is an outstanding musical effort by these Portuguese veterans. The two strongest songs in this 5th Moonspell album are the mentioned Firewalking and Ghostsong.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Ara Vahanian

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