Moonspell: Extinct review

Formed in 1992, Portuguese purveyors of Titanic-sized Gothic Metal Moonspell have once again risen from the depths of hell to rape your soul with their 11th  studio album and second for Napalm Records entitled Extinct. The album picks up where 2012’s incendiary Alpha Noir/Omega White left off and is the precursor to the band’s North American leg of their Conquerors Of The World Tour, which runs through April & March in the United States. Extinct was produced and mixed by Jens Bo Gren and features some extremely disturbing, yet hauntingly beautiful cover art by Seth Siro Anton. Not surprisingly, the contents within are similarly bizarre and just as breathtaking. That strangeness is immediately felt in the pop sensibilities of the verse parts to opener “Breath (Until We Are No More),” which are offset by the melodic brutality of the choruses and may be the song that finally gives them the global recognition they deserve. Whereas title track “Extinct” is the exact opposite, with brutal verses, balanced with huge anthemic choruses and blistering solos by guitarists Ricardo Amorim & Pedro Paixao. Who also provides symphonic interludes akin to Nightwish. Speaking of Nightwish, “Medusalem” and “La Baphomette” are equal parts Nightwish & Paradise Lost, with just a dash of Rammstein to give it a little spicy kick and you can’t help thinking of Sisters Of Mercy when listening to “Domina.” “The Last of Us” and “Funeral Bloom” are ripped right out of the H.I.M. songbook and are just as radio friendly, while “Malignia” and “The Future Is Dark” find vocalist Fernando Ribeiro digging deep into his lower register to emulate his inner most Peter Steele and have song structures similar to the Type O Negative classic Love You To Death. The band even taps into the more melodic aspects of Tiamat, by revisiting the sound of more experimental albums like Sin/Pecado and Butterfly Effect, as demonstrated on “A Dying Breed.” Here’s the bottom line. If you consider yourself a fan of Gothic Metal, then you no doubt are already hip to Moonspell, but if you somehow weren’t, your time is running out, for like the title says, the human race is slowly going Extinct. Rating: 8 out of 10 -Eric Hunker