Veteran Portuguese gothic band Moonspell are their home nation’s biggest Metal export and have carved out a career spanning two decades garnering international acclaim and a solid reputation as a live band.
Words: Ian Sutherland
‘Extinct’ is their tenth full length studio album released last year but it has been something like eighteen years since they stood on a stage in Glasgow and the response to the opening songs taken from that album is a little muted.
Front man Fernando Ribeiro is an experienced campaigner though and he is soon working the crowd hard and getting them involved as much as possible. Throwing in some more familiar material like ‘Night Eternal’ and ‘Awake’ helps and the fact that there are a few of his countrymen in the audience delighted to see their heroes in such a small venue adds to the atmosphere.
The sound is beautifully balanced so that all the subtleties of their carefully crafted gothic Metal songs come through with some nice lead lines from guitarist Ricardo Amorim and the effective samples and atmospherics added by keyboard player Pedro Paixao.
Ribeiro is the real star though and while his vocals may waver a little here or there it doesn’t really matter as he effortlessly controls things from his front and centre position on the cramped stage.
Eventually new songs like the hook laden and ethereal ‘Malignia’ are being well received but it is the songs from their debut ‘Wolfheart’ which get the biggest cheers of the night. Now over twenty years old tracks such as ‘Ataegina’ and the catchy ‘Alma Mater’ are welcomed like the old friends they are. Everyone enjoys Ribeiro hamming it up in his red vampire cloak during ‘Vampiria’ too.
A three song encore ending with old favourite ‘Full Moon Madness’ still leaves the crowd wanting more from an evening which started quietly and ended in a hugely successful return to Glasgow. If these guys want to play to bigger venues and bigger crowds this far north they just need to turn up more often than once every eighteen years. I hope we see them back here a lot sooner.