Moonspell Night Eternal

Moonspell Night Eternal
Moonspell’s Night Eternal reveals a band that has rediscovered their selves, reconnecting with their history while staying focused on the present and future. If you’ve heard last year’s re-recordings on Under Satanae, you have some idea what to expect. Infusing the raw energy of early Moonspell into a sophisticated palette of dark and extreme metal, the band’s latest ranges from intensely heavy ("Moon in Mercury,” for example) to morosely gothic ("Dreamless”) and performs each shading with masterful expertise. Mix-wise the album is dense — thick layers of guitars, keyboards and choral accompaniment — and the arrangements shift along with the variations in style. And stylistically Moonspell are voracious, interweaving melodies, harmonic progressions, riffs and rhythms from thrash, groove, black, death and even industrial metal. Amorphis’s Niclas Etelävuori provides the album’s bass tracks but the most obvious guest work on Night Eternal is Anneke van Giersbergen’s appearance on "Scorpion Flower,” a dramatic and well-orchestrated beauty-and-the-beast collaboration. Despite the outsider contributions and genre play, Moonspell maintain their own distinctive Carpathians-via-Portugal inflection and nearly encapsulate an entire career in just nine tracks. (SPV/Steamhammer)