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Moonspell - Alpha Noir/Omega White [Double LP] (2012) - Review

Band: Moonspell
Album title: Alpha Noir / Omega White
Release date: 27 April 2012
Label: Napalm Records

Tracklisting:
Disc I - Alpha Noir
01. Axis Mundi
02. Lickanthrope
03. Versus
04. Alpha Noir
05. Em Nome Do Medo
06. Opera Carne
07. Love Is Blasphemy
08. Grand Stand
09. Sine Missione

Disc II - Omega White
01. Whiteomega
02. White Skies
03. Fireseason
04. New Tears Eve
05. Herodisiac
06. Incantatrix
07. Sacrificial
08. A Greater Darkness

If anything, then it is the style combining sound that always drew me to Moonspell. Being one of rare bands that have stayed true to the roots of gothic metal and never underwent the drastic change that would sink them down, it is always a pleasure for me to grab onto every new release they give us. Moonspell have been around for more than 20 years and therefore their discography has everything, from crown jewels of raw metal, to more soft and melodic releases. The band has been consistently going from melodic black metal to gothic metal, forth and back, and combining those two genres altogether, and that’s what makes their signature mark - they are able to ride both roads and never get lost.

Alpha Noir/Omega White is the band’s 10th full length album and first double album. Why the double album you may ask? Alpha Noir is consisted of nine tracks, Omega White of eight, so if they would put the best of Alpha & Omega together, we would easily get one hell of an album. But that would mean keeping the whole Omega and adding just a bit of Alpha.

"Axis Mundi", the opening of Alpha Noir, is definitely one of the highlights and reminds of band’s early sound. "Opera Carne" is another track worth listening, as it is defined by heavy and memorable guitar riff. But that is all that there is to this album. Basically Alpha Noir has a fair share of heavy riffs, haunting growls and subtitle keyboard sound, but keeping the mentioned two songs aside, unfortunately the majority of the album is just bare and unmemorable. It has all been heard before, but the difference is that Alpha Noir just does not have that special, obscure touch, that Wolfheart (1995) and Irreligious (1996) had. It is just a conglomerate of recycled, already heard sound.

Moving on to the second chapter, Omega White is a whole different story, being a true gothic masterpiece. Its sound resembles the later phase of Moonspell, from Sin/Pecado (1998) on. It is such a beauteous combination of romanticism and darkness, clean vocals and whispers, gentle harmonies and very dense in keyboards, which gives the music just the perfect amount of ambient. A bit rawer guitars are also present, take for example "Herodisiac". "New Tears Eve" and "Incantatrix" are true gothic anthems and "A Greater Darkness" easily the best track on the album, defined by a simple, yet efficient guitar melody that connects all the elements of the song in pure perfection.  Amongst everything, I need to mention Ribeiro’s vocals here, because his singing has developed so nicely over the years and on this record he sounds so smooth and haunting, his performance is simply impeccable.  

Due to the nature of this album, it is impossible for me to rate it. Alpha Noir is somewhat a 6 out of 10, Omega White a 9 out of 10, so arithmetically that would be 7,5 out of 10. But it would be such incredible injustice to put a mere 7, 5 to Omega White so I am not putting any numbers here. Just listen to the whole package and decide which side of Moonspell you prefer. In any case, you will find something to enjoy.

Review written by: Ines
Rating: N/A

 

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