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In the pursuit of strange fashion – Moonspell’s “Lisboa Under the Spell” review


For some time, it’s become popular to play band albums in their entirety. I have the impression that is quite appropriate and good to remind the fans the ones of their classic achievements. Certainly a huge group of fans appreciate such events, you can then hear live songs that have not been played for a long time and maybe they will not be anymore. I have never been a fan of playing concerts with albums played in their entirety. I’ve always believed that the concert loses its magic for predictability.

Moonspell during the last year’s concert in the Portuguese capital, played not one but three albums: the first two (“Wolfheart” and “Irreligious”) and the last one (“Extinct”, when the concert was held, it was the group’s latest album).

How did the material from “Lisboa Under the Spell” sound live?

I admire that differently. I have the biggest accusations to edition of the recordings. A few places are simply asked to cut the silence that lasts too long. The worst falls in this respect is the “Irreligious” set. Very long breaks separating the last three songs make the whole thing go on forever. And remember that “Lisboa Under the Spell” lasts for more than 2h40min!

There are also long, boring talks about the.. hmmm. I can only guess because the vocalist speaks to the public in his own language. The video version with subtitles obviously makes sense, the audio version could have definitely been shortened. Perhaps the buyers of the vinyl edition would then get a complete set of “Wolfheart”.

Maybe a word about the music itself now?

Although “Wolfheart” and “Irreligious” appeared almost a quarter of a century ago, the material did not get older. It is also heavy and climatic (these wolf wolves before “Full Moon Madness”!), and the whole thing was played very smoothly. Daring solos: keyboards in rock and roll “… of Dream And Drama” or guitar (again “Full Moon Madness”) make the whole being listened very well.

There are, of course, some small blunders on “Lisboa Under the Spell”.

Although Fernando is a great vocalist, he sometimes has problems with maintaining a clear sound, clearly heard even in “Awake” or moments in the set “Extinct”. I appreciate that they did not improve it in post-production, overcoming the vocals in the studio, but Fernando is much better at heavier moments. And he is undoubtedly an exceptional master of ceremonies, he keeps in touch with the audience who reacts, as befits devoted fans.

A small note here: “Wolfheart” set was played in a slightly different than the original order.

The aforementioned “Ataegina” found itself in front of a great “Vampiria”, probably in order to finally sound the “Alma Mater” awaited by all, sung choralically by the gathered audience. In turn, “Irreligious” was played without a “Subversion” cut-scene. In my opinion, this is an advantage, it never fit to the record.

In the first reflex I found it strange to combine the most recent two-classic record. After listening to the whole, I admit that such a combination greatly exposes the evolution that Moonspell has been going through for almost 25 years of their career.

“Extinct” is less brutal and rough than their early records, more atmospheric, and simple keyboard plays gave way to extended orchestras. The The Sisters of Mercy or The Cure influences are clearly heard here. A good idea was the “La Baphomette” shift (which originally ended with “Extinct”) at the beginning of the set. Thanks to that finally the majestic “The Future is Dark” sounded, strongly oscillating around the great “Disintegration” of The Cure, and leaving the listener… in a sense of hunger. Did I earlier mention that the whole thing lasts 2h40min? Did I write that I felt, that it was too long?

Well, how? Is that good?

As a dedicated band fan, I have a problem with the assessment. On the one hand, the concert played almost flawless, everything sounds as it should. The sound is selective and meaty, material – very good, and the group – in the top form. The “Lisboa Under the Spell” also captures the unique atmosphere of the concert, with a peculiar dialogue between the band and the audience. On the other hand, as I pointed out at the outset, I do not like such concerts and I can not get away with the idea that such publications are ripping of the fans.

The “Irreligious” reissue recently appeared and just a moment ago – “Wolfheart”, so same things are being sold… well, I think it’s a bit unfair. Adding to this a poor edition: unnecessarily long pauses between songs and unnecessary chatter, which I was very tired with, as well as paradoxical trimming of material in some editions, with a heavy wolf heart, I issue an average mark.

Moonspell - Lisboa Under the Spell
Moonspell – Lisboa Under the Spell, 2018

Setlist:

“Wolfheart Show”

1. Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
2. Love Crimes
3. …Of Dream And Drama (Midnight Ride)
4. Lua D’inverno
5. Trebaruna
6. Ataegina (brak na LP)
7. Vampiria
8. An Erotic Alchemy
9. Alma Mater

“Irreligious Show”

1. Perverse… Almost Religious
2. Opium
3. Awake!
4. For A Taste Of Eternity
5. Ruin & Misery
6. A Poisoned Gift
7. Raven Claws (Feat. Mariangela Demurtas)
8. Mephisto
9. Herr Spiegelmann
10. Fullmoon Madness

“Extinct Show”

1. All Gone From The Wild – La Baphomette (Intro)
2. Breathe (Until We Are No More)
3. Extinct (Feat. Carolina Torres)
4. Medusalem
5. Domina
6. The Last Of Us
7. Malignia
8. Funeral Bloom
9. A Dying Breed
10. The Future Is Dark

Translation into English: Adam Wolosz

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