Moonspell - Extint

One of the main characteristics of the so called great bands it’s the capability of changing their sound between different albums without losing their identity. One that best applies to this category it’s the Portuguese band Moonspell. Starting as a Black Metal band they soon derived their sonority to a Gothic Metal tune with a Folk approach, masterly combining all those elements along their releases and alternating between darker albums, more electronic ones or simply Gothic. With a long career of more than 20 years in activity and with a discography within the same figures they could easily sit back and release one more album… but no. Instead, the band evolved (or in this case, got extinct) and emerged with a fresh retro sound. Confused? Good, that means I’ve got your attention.

Starting from the name of the album, “Extinct”; meaning “no longer in existence” or “something that died” leads us to a line of thought that evokes some bad omens. But it can also mean rebirth in a way that when something dies or parishes it leaves space for another one to grow, or blossom. A volcano eruption can be a terrible thing yet under all that flaming lava life will reborn stronger than ever; a mantle of snow when melted reveals life underneath. So is the case on the album’s title, the capability of the band to “extinguishes” from the past and to give birth to another album who’s sound is fresh and new yet it’s imbued with elements from the past. I think we can call it “the cycle of music”.

The lyrics mainly concern the human condition inserted in the idea exposed above; the fact that we are facing extinction in terms of values and as individuals but also stating the capability we have to accept extinction as a part of life, as a rebirth that makes us move along and reinvent ourselves as better humans.

Now the songs… I’ve heard the album 3 or 4 times before starting to write these lines and the more I listen to it the more I get the impression that it works as a form of homage to the Goth scene back in the 90’s. I mean, there’s the heavy part too, the essence of the band but I do resemble some tunes that remind me of bands like The Mission or The Sisters of Mercy (those fast drums at the beginning of track #7 “Funeral Doom”, anyone?). We have also a more Progressive tune with Arabic elements in track #3, “Medusalem”; the keyboards in track #5 “The Last of Us” kind of takes us to the Brit Pop in early 80’s. All these [masterfully] combined elements are the essence of this great album, all wrapped in direct and simple tunes but with that exact dose of heaviness and dark aura.

These are the type of albums that endure through times, ageless despite music changes.

“Extinct” tracklist:

01. Breathe (Until We Are No More)
02. Extinct
03. Medusalem
04. Domina
05. The Last of Us
06. Malignia
07. Funeral Bloom
08. A Dying Breed
09. The Future Is Dark
10. La Baphomette

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