20 years have passed since the release of the breakthrough album “Irreligious” by Moonspell. Compared to the previous album “Wolfheart”, this was an album that featured a musical approach more orientated towards Gothic Metal that established the band in the highlights of the Metal community and showed that after “Wolfheart”, the band had amazing work to showcase. This time, in the shape of “Irreligious”.
It makes perfect sense the 20th anniversary of an important release. Moonspell arranged a special set of shows to celebrate this event. The concert was arranged to be divided in three parts: Wolfheart, Irreligious and Extinct. All three albums were performed in the their entirety, with a 15 minute break in between.
The concert started 15 minutes late with the “Wolfheart” set. The stage was decorated based on the album artwork, with a huge full moon in the background. Slowly the members entered the stage until “Wolfshade” was started. The sound was great. “Love Crimes” and “…of Dream and Drama (Midnight Ride)” guaranteed the audience that the band was giving all they had. “Lua d’Inverno” set a unique and very pleasant moment, with Ricardo and Pedro Paixão performing the song live instead of using a sample. “Ataegina” switched places with “Alma Mater”, “Trebaruna” and “Vampiria” set the entire crowd jumping and singing along the folkish hymns dedicated to the mythological female divine and vampyric entities. Another highlight was the presence of the Crystal Mountain singers which gave everyone goosebumps along the beautiful guitar solo of “An Erotic Alchemy”. “Alma Mater”, one of the band’s greatest hits closed the first third of the night.
The part that represented the whole purpose of this special celebrative concert. The whole stage was decorated with the red tones typical of the album’s artwork. There was also fire on stage. “Perverse… Almost Religious” started what everyone was there to see. The gothic hymns that compose this great record! “Opium”, the band’s first video and single from ’96 set the pace for the entire set. “Awake!” the pace a bit but made everyone chant “…for all is dying… even the dead”. Such dramatic song exploded into “For A Taste Of Eternity”. What a start!
Mariangela Demurtas (Tristania), who also happens to be married to Ricardo Amorim, joined Fernando on stage to beautifully perform the female vocal parts of “Raven Claws”. It was a nice surprise guest appearance. “Mephisto” flooded the pavilion with fire in an impressive firework. During “Herr Spiegelmann” Fernando Ribeiro dropped the traditional mirrors to use laser gloves instead, making green lights fly everywhere. And last, but not least, one of the highlights of every Moonspell concert in the last years: “Full Moon Madness”, a special song which connects the audience to the band with the howling of the wolves. Fireworks enriched the last moments of the song in a flashy “See you soon”. For those who came specifically to witness this part of the concert, it was fulling and it felt great to relive those great songs live.
The last third of the night was an integral performance of the band’s latest record “Extinct”. The set changed once again and the band adopted their current imagery to perform some of the catchier tunes that the band has created. We could witness some of the younger fans of the band were more excited about this part and we did witness a bigger interaction with the newer fans during songs like “Medusalem”, “The Last Of Us” or “Domina”.
“The Future Is Dark” brought a gloomy ambiance and works quite well live. The ending song was a perfect goodbye to a night to remember “La Baphomette”.
The band left after a huge round of applause, joined by everyone who stepped on stage that night. Now let’s hope that Moonspell keep doing these 20th anniversary concerts for the other records, specially referring to the most challenging ones: “Sin/Pecado” and The Butterfly Effect”.
Special thanks to Vibes & Beats, aFirma.
Text by: Ana Duarte
Photos: Filipe Gomes (www.fgphoto.eu)