Moonspell Live in Klub Studio, Kraków, Poland 2007
Background information
Origin Brandoa, Amadora, Portugal
Genres Gothic metal, black metal, doom metal, death metal, folk metal, melodic death metal
Years active 1992–present
Labels Century Media, SPV GmbH
Associated acts Daemonarch, Rotting Christ
Fernando Ribeiro
Miguel Gaspar
Ricardo Amorim
Pedro Paixão
Aires Pereira
Past members
(see below)

Moonspell is a Portuguese gothic metal band from Brandoa, Lisbon. Formed in 1992, the group released their first EP Under the Moonspell in 1994, a year before the release of their first album Wolfheart. The band quickly gained status and became one of the most recognizable metal bands from Portugal.[1]

Moonspell reached the Portuguese top first with their album Sin/Pecado, and were, along with Metallica and Iron Maiden, the only metal band to reach the first place of the Portuguese charts after the release of their album, Memorial, in 2006.[2] With Memorial, Moonspell also became the first Portuguese heavy metal band to have a record certified gold status.[3] They are also very popular in Germany, where Memorial entered at 68th in the Top 100 Chart.[2]



Early days (1992–1994)

Although they had been playing since 1989 under the name of "Morbid God",[4] the band became Moonspell in 1992, the same year they released the promo track "Serpent Angel".

Breakthrough (1995–1997)

After the release of mini-album Under the Moonspell, Moonspell signed with Century Media for six CDs. Wolfheart was recorded in Germany with producer Waldemar Sorychta and was released in 1995 and was followed by a European tour. Although the album had little or no recognition at the beginning. During the tour, guitarist Mantus quit the band and was replaced by Ricardo Amorim.

For 1997's Irreligious, the band again recorded with producer Waldemar Sorychta. While previous album was considered black metal, this one fell into the genre of gothic metal. The song "Opium" became the first Moonspell single. It quoted one of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms, Álvaro de Campos, on his poem "Opiário", and its music video featured the character of poet writing in a bar with the band playing. Along with the release of the album in a convent, the Convento do Beato, there were factors that helped the band selling 10,000 copies of the album in their homeland.[1]

After conflicts with the band involving lawsuits, bass player Ares left the band and was replaced by Sérgio Crestana.

Experimenting (1998–2000)

Sin/Pecado (Pecado means "sin" in Portuguese) was released in 1998. It had a bigger experimental nature than its predecessors. The song "2econd Skin" was released as a single. At the time they released the one and only Daemonarch album, Hermeticum. Daemonarch was a side project composed by all Moonspell members except drummer Mike Gaspar. The album was seen as a return to their black metal roots and its lyrics were all written by singer Fernando Ribeiro between the age of 14 and 16.

Sin/Pecado was followed in 1999 by The Butterfly Effect, recorded in London and produced by Andy Reilly. This album is considered to be very experimental in nature as well. Featuring "down-tuned guitar riffs, eerie synthesizer passages",[5] the album was mainly composed by guitarist/keyboard player Pedro Paixão and was not very well received by metal critics.[6]

Darkness and Hope and The Antidote (2001–2005)

Fernando Ribeiro during a live show in Spain in 2006

Darkness and Hope was released in 2001 and was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, producer of Sentenced and HIM. The album reached 79th on German charts[1] and special editions included covers of Madredeus, Ozzy Osbourne's "Mr. Crowley" and Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart". "Nocturna" was released as a single and music video.

In 2003, the band released The Antidote, with Niclas Etelävuori from Amorphis playing as a session musician on the bass guitar. The album was released with a book with the same title written by Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto. Both the CD and book share the same concept and story and each song in the CD is sister to a chapter in the book that enhances the story in the lyrics. "Everything Invaded" was released as a single and music video. The band toured extensively around the world, playing at Rock in Rio Lisbon in 2004, a concert that brought them to more mainstream attention in Portugal. From this album on, the tours feature Aires Pereira on the bass.

During 2003 the band recorded a cover of the jazz standard "I'll See You in My Dreams" for the soundtrack of the Portuguese short zombie horror film of the same name. There is an official music video which was filmed in one day during the production of the short and under a €2,000 budget.[7] The song was also issued as a single in 2004, featuring the full and edited versions.

Memorial, Under Satanæ and Night Eternal (2006–present)

Memorial was released in 2006. Recorded with the producer of their first three albums Waldemar Sorychta, who also recorded the bass guitar parts, it was the first to be released under their new label SPV Steamhammer. The album topped the Portuguese album chart on its first week and also broke into the German Top 100 at number 68.[2] Memorial achieved gold status in Portugal after selling 10,000 copies, making Moonspell the first Portuguese doom metal band to achieve that.[3]

Although the album is heavier than the previous, it was very well received and its release was featured in various Portuguese news broadcasts. A new release of the album was released in December 2006 and featured a DVD with live performances and the music videos made for the album. Music videos for "Finisterra" and "Luna" were released.

The band then worked on releasing a DVD originally entitled Lunar Still/13 Years of Doom, but had some issues of a legal nature and was been forced to delay the release, originally expected in September 2005. It was pushed later to 9 December 2008 with a new title: Lusitanian Metal.[8][9]

On November 2, 2006, Moonspell won an MTV Europe Music Award in the category of Best Portuguese Act.

The Great Silver Eye, a best-of album, was released on June 26, 2007.

In 2007, Moonspell released Under Satanæ, a re-recording of early songs.

The newest album is called Night Eternal. It was released on May 16, 2008. The lead single off the album, Scorpion Flower, features Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, now Agua De Annique).

Moonspell performed the "Blackest of The Black" tour with Danzig, Winds of Plague, Dimmu Borgir, and Skeletonwitch.[10]

Moonspell toured Europe with Cradle of Filth, Gorgoroth, Septic Flesh and Asrai ("The Darkest Tour: Filthfest") in December 2008, and took part in a European tour with Cradle of Filth and Turisas, dubbed the "Darkest Tour:Filthfest 2", in April and May 2009.[11]

Future projects

Moonspell are reported to be working on a new album, aimed to be released in 2011. Fernando described the music as "the most exciting, sexiest, darkest, heaviest and catchiest stuff we've written in ages!" It was also reported that the Portuguese Postal Service will be releasing "a collection of stamps that represent the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal," which includes Moonspell's first album, Wolfheart.[12]

Band members

Current members

  • Fernando Ribeiro (Langsuyar) – vocals (1989–present)
  • Miguel Gaspar (Mike/Nisroth) – drums (1992–present)
  • Ricardo Amorim (Morning Blade) – guitar (1995–present)
  • Pedro Paixão (Passionis/Neophytus) – keyboard/guitar (1994–present)
  • Aires Pereira (Ahriman) – bass (2007–present)

Previous members

  • João Pedro – bass (1989–1997)
  • Sérgio Crestana – bass (1997–2003)
  • Niclas Etelävuori – bass (2003–2006)
  • Waldemar Sorychta – bass (2006–2007)


Studio albums




  • Serpent Angel (1992)
  • Anno Satanae (1994)


  1. ^ a b c "Moonspell Biography". Archived from the original on 2006-10-15. Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  2. ^ a b c "3 May 2006 - Moonspell breaks into the chars and live news". Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  3. ^ a b "Moonspell: Memorial certified gold in Portugal". 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2007-01-17. 
  4. ^ "Moonspell's Biography". Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  5. ^ "Butterfly Effect - Overview". Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  6. ^ "Moonspell - The Butterfly Effect". Retrieved 2006-11-16. 
  7. ^ "Moonspell Video". O Pato Profissional Produções Lda.. Retrieved 2011-02-09. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "MOONSPELL Named 'Best Portuguese Act' At MTV's EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS". 2006-11-02. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Cradle of Filth, Moonspell, Turisas to team up for "Filthfest Tour"". February 26, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Moonspell gets its own stamp". July 6, 2010. Retrieved September 11, 2010. 

External links

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