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Review of "The Butterfly Effect" Moonspell’s 1999 Studio Album

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

Get ready to listen to a very interesting experimental album from Portugal's most well-known metal band!

Get ready to listen to a very interesting experimental album from Portugal's most well-known metal band!

A Style Change is Present for Portugal's Moonspell

The Butterfly Effect is the 4th studio album by Portugal’s Moonspell released in 1999 and some fans may be wondering how this one compares to their previous 3 albums. The Butterfly Effect is said to have a more electronic based sound and industrial music influence compared to their first three studio albums. It is inevitable that pretty much all bands are going to compose a different album in their career and The Butterfly Effect is an example of that kind of different. In this case, I’d say it works out well, not being a flop like some metal albums. Fernando still uses his growls in this album but he also makes more of an effort to use his clean vocals as well, providing a nice sort of contrast.

"Tired"

More Analysis of the Songs in The Butterfly Effect

Immediately, you notice that this Moonspell album is not really like the ones before it. Fernando Ribeiro has more of a tendency to use his clean vocal approach such as in the first song “Soulsick.” There are times when a different musical approach totally fails and falls like a thud. Then there are times when a different approach turns out good but not great. That is the case with The Butterfly Effect. Then there are songs such as “Butterfly FX” which start off with what sounds like a march and the electronic influence can be heard again. Listening to Butterfly FX more closely, I spot that there’s that Rammstein like feel to the song especially in the rougher vocal parts. The drums are another redeeming aspect to this album especially in the first song. “Can’t Bee” is one of those songs that might be a play on words because normally a song like this would be titled “Can’t Be.” The song has a soft atmospheric part with clean vocals followed by the distortion part. Then it switches back to the softer part. This is one of those albums that really will take a concentrated, worked on effort to get used to and appreciate if you are used to hearing this band’s earlier albums or if you are a major Gothic metal fan. This album is largely experimental and we are not talking specifically about the guitar sound because Moonspell has always been heavy with their guitar work but what sets this album apart from their first three albums is the electronic and or industrial approach that the band used in direct departure from death metal.

"Disappear Here"

Final Thoughts About An Experimental Metal Album from Moonspell

The Butterfly Effect may be the weakest album that Moonspell has composed of their first four albums because of the fact that the songwriting is not as strong as the first three albums. There is just not enough of that sort of “wow” factor that can make you be impressed enough for a sufficient amount of time. If you feel like wanting to panic because this album is so different than the others you heard from these guys, don’t panic because even though this is an experimental effort, the drums are solid and there are moments that show that this band is capable of writing better than average riffs such as in the song “Disappear Here.”

© 2021 Ara Vahanian

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