Night Eternal

SPV Records 2008

Portuguese dark metal masters, Moonspell return with their latest exploration into a blackened yet expansive darkness.  The first three tracks offer Moonspell at their most monstrous.  Though with that said it is still very controlled and reserved, but the vocals are deathly and Shadow Sun has some rather violent explosions of blackened incantations and drum work.  Scorpion flower features a dramatic main riff with almost "romantic" overtones.  Deep and clean gothic vocals bring to mind Rosetta Stone.  Then the chorus hits with its soaring Female vocals and emotional duet.  Complex melodic leads and solos and lush keyboards paint the shadows on Moon in Mercury.  Hers Is the Twilight lulls the listener into a regal vampyric trance before revealing the beast within with its angry chorus.  Drealess is more what I expect from Moonspell with its gothic and somewhat romantic mood.  The production is crystal clear which of course is exactly what one would expect from a band with high commercial aspiration such as Moonspell.  Night Eternal alternates between the gothic dark metal of modern Moonspell and the blackened death metal of their early career.  Though generally they are successfully spliced together it still manages to give the album sort of a split personality.  I have not been into Moonspell for a long time and Night Eternal ends up being too polished an album for me to truly enjoy because the blacked and deathly material isn't convincing for me.  It is all just a facade covering the gothic material at the heart of Moonspell.