Moonspell
Irreligious


3.5
great

Review

by fireaboveicebelow USER (108 Reviews)
March 21st, 2009 | 17 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist


Moonspell is a band of many faces. From their black metal upbringings, through their alternative rock stage, and even within their aggressive blackened heavy metal of their present status, they always retained a very gothic, and exceptionally intelligent, state of mind whenever they put their name on a record. But with Irreligious especially, they concocted possibly the most important record to goth rock and metal in the 1990’s. Alongside Sisters of Mercy, Moonspell’s ideas of musical composition have been stolen time and time again, but never reach the level of emotion or intensity as its creators. Even Silenoz (Dimmu Borgir) declared he secretly loved this album during his “black metal only” phase, and Mille Petrozza from Kreator exclaims that Irreligious has created a new genre of metal and foundation for generations of bands to come. Perhaps he’s exaggerating about his first claim, but he sure isn’t far off.

The one thing that’s undeniable about Moonspell is that regardless if you like what they’re doing at any given time, they still sound like Moonspell. The band began individualized, and thus had more time to experiment. They also retain a sense of mysticism in their atmospheres that goes hand in hand with the attractive lyrical topics. Because they stripped away the blackened influence from their first two outings, Irreligious takes many-a gander into experimentation with the use of instrumentation as well as a sort of trial and error with when to use these or other relative tools. By incorporating imaginative moods with this experimentation opens doors for how the album carries itself and how Fernando’s vocals are able to fluctuate between styles.

The classic goth metal track Opium is your first insight into a rather straightforward manner with its extremely catchy hooks and drums. Fernando’s vocals are as seductive as ever, and already his growls have greatly increased in power and intensity. This transcends perfectly into Awake, a fairly symphonic track utilizing the strings as a palette for the rhythmic elements. Raven Claws, on the other hand, is an example of where experimentation can hurt. There is a female guest singer that comes across far too soulful for the sound of the song, though the song itself could not be much more redeemable without her. However, Mephisto shows how lack of experimentation hurts, it being a rather normal song for this album due to its infantile songwriting.

Forget Type O Negative as the standard for modern gothic music. Forget Peter Steele’s “I’m bummed, but highly sexed” mantra, because the amount of passion, enjoyable or not, that Moonspell immerse the music in is more human and at the same time a sort of apotheosis in that they bring on a completely new mindset than you previously had. Naturally, it being an early album they are still struggling with songwriting in itself and Fernando could still use much improvement vocally. It’s a bit too bad they didn’t take this sound further rather than focusing more on a more straightforward sound, but that just makes this album all the more special.



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
Pizzabakker5 (4.5)
On Moonspell’s second album – Irreligious – they lose more of their black metal vibe in favor ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I swear to god Arch Enemy ripped off the drumming patterns from Opium in Enemy Within

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2009


16128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Why the hell are you up so early??? Anyway, I'm too tired and your review only confused the shit out of me so I'll read it again after a nap.... but Opium is an awesome song (So is Mephisto and Full Moon Madness).

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

my friend signed me up for salsa lessons and if I don't go I owe him $100

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2009


16128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

I'd pay the $100.

Edit: Although there might be some hotties, and if they're there then you know they choose dance over church.

Edit 2: I might be a little drunk still too... it's not Sunday so I guess they're not at church anyway.

This Message Edited On 03.21.09

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

...I think we're in different time zones willie haha it's only 9 AM

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2009


16128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

same time zone... different states of mind ;)

BallsToTheWall
March 21st 2009


44800 Comments


I've been in a Moonspell phase lately with memorial being my favorite, might check this out. Good review sire.

Salsa lessons? Salsa lessons? Salsa lessons?This Message Edited On 03.21.09

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I asked the same question...I'm a saaaad panda

BallsToTheWall
March 21st 2009


44800 Comments


You better be doing this for the classiest chick on the planet because that's the least metal thing you could possibly do.

Wizard
March 21st 2009


19612 Comments


So I think I'm really going to start exploring Moonspells back catalogue more. Their last three albums are nothing short of amazing and Under Satanae is decent.

I'm guessing you're over your writters block hahahaha cause this review is alot better then the one I just posted (meaning a 1000 times better hahaha).

Digging: Hans Zimmer - Interstellar

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wasn't talking about writer's block for writing I meant music haha

Willie
Moderator
March 21st 2009


16128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Good luck with that Wizard... they've got a lot of "interesting" albums ;)

Wizard
March 21st 2009


19612 Comments


I wasn't talking about writer's block for writing I meant music haha

I made it into a joke dude hahaha.
Good luck with that Wizard... they've got a lot of "interesting" albums ;)

By interesting (what I remember from one of your comments a while back), you mean shitty, right?This Message Edited On 03.21.09

fireaboveicebelow
March 21st 2009


6837 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I would use interesting over shitty...but he means shitty

Willie
Moderator
March 22nd 2009


16128 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

No, none of them are really "shitty", most of them are just very "plain" and unexciting to me... but they almost all have at least a few good songs.

Hawks
March 22nd 2009


35838 Comments


Good review. Pretty good album. Not anywhere as good as their recent albums though.

pizzamachine
January 1st 2010


12571 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hawks took the words out of my mouth.



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