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Moonspell Studio Krakow 2007 10.JPG
Moonspell Live in Klub Studio, Kraków, Poland 2007
Background information
Origin Amadora, Lisbon, Portugal
Genres Gothic metal, black metal, doom metal, melodic death metal
Years active1992–present
Labels Adipocere (1992–1995)
Century Media (1995–2005)
SPV GmbH (2005–2008)
Napalm (2011–present)
Associated acts Morbid God, Dæmonarch, Orfeu Rebelde
MembersFernando Ribeiro
Miguel Gaspar
Pedro Paixão
Ricardo Amorim
Aires Pereira
Past membersJoão Pedro
Duarte Picoto
Luís Lamelas
Jorge Fonseca
Sérgio Crestana
Niclas Etelävuori
Waldemar Sorychta

Moonspell is a Portuguese heavy metal band. Formed in 1992, the group released their first EP Under the Moonspell in 1994 and followed up with their debut album Wolfheart a year later. They quickly became one of the most recognizable metal bands from Portugal [1] and a key figure in gothic metal.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

<i>Under the Moonspell</i> extended play by Moonspell

Under the Moonspell is an EP by Portuguese Gothic metal band Moonspell, released in 1994 on CD and vinyl.

<i>Wolfheart</i> album by Moonspell from 1995

Wolfheart is the debut studio album by Portuguese gothic metal band, Moonspell. All of the tracks are in English except for "Trebaruna" and "Ataegina", which are in Portuguese, as well as the chorus of "Alma Mater". The song "An Erotic Alchemy" is a duet, inspired by and quoting Marquis de Sade.


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 metal band to have a record certified gold status. [3] They are also popular in Germany, where their albums consistently enter the Top 100 Chart. [2]

<i>Sin/Pecado</i> 1998 studio album by Moonspell

Sin/Pecado is the third studio album by Portuguese gothic metal band, Moonspell, released in 1998.

Metallica American heavy metal band

Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, California by drummer Lars Ulrich and vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield, and has been based in San Francisco, California for most of its career. The group's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.

Iron Maiden English heavy metal band

Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The band's discography has grown to thirty-eight albums, including sixteen studio albums, twelve live albums, four EPs, and seven compilations.


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.

Waldemar Sorychta is a Polish heavy metal musician, songwriter, producer and artist who lives in Dortmund, Germany since 1982.

For 1996's Irreligious , the band again recorded with producer Waldemar Sorychta. While the 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 the 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 sell 10,000 copies of the album in their homeland. [1]

<i>Irreligious</i> (album) 1996 studio album by Moonspell

Irreligious is the second studio album by Portuguese gothic metal band, Moonspell, released 1996. It features some of the best-known songs of the band, such as "Opium", "Ruin & Misery", "Awake!" and "Full Moon Madness". The latter is usually the closing song during almost every Moonspell concert, which over time has become a characteristic of their concerts. Before the song begins, Fernando Ribeiro often makes the sign of the circle over the crowd. The 3rd track "Awake!" features a recording of Aleister Crowley reading his poem 'The Poet'.

Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music. Common traits include fast tempos, a shrieking vocal style, heavily distorted guitars played with tremolo picking, raw (lo-fi) recording, unconventional song structures, and an emphasis on atmosphere. Artists often appear in corpse paint and adopt pseudonyms.

Gothic metal is a fusion genre combining the heaviness of heavy metal with the dark atmospheres of gothic rock. The music of gothic metal is diverse with bands known to adopt the gothic approach to different styles of heavy metal music. The genre originated during the early 1990s in the United Kingdom originally as an outgrowth of death-doom, a fusion of death metal and doom metal. Lyrics are generally dark and introspective with inspiration from gothic fiction as well as personal experiences.

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

Experimenting (1998–2000)

Sin/Pecado ("Without/Sin" and 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 Dæmonarch album, Hermeticum . Dæmonarch 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.

Portuguese language Romance language that originated in Portugal

Portuguese is a Western Romance language originating in the Iberian Peninsula. It is the sole official language of Portugal, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Angola, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It also has co-official language status in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Macau in China. As the result of expansion during colonial times, a cultural presence of Portuguese and Portuguese creole speakers are also found in Goa, Daman and Diu in India; in Batticaloa on the east coast of Sri Lanka; in the Indonesian island of Flores; in the Malacca state of Malaysia; and the ABC islands in the Caribbean where Papiamento is spoken, while Cape Verdean Creole is the most widely spoken Portuguese-based Creole. Reintegrationists maintain that Galician is not a separate language, but a dialect of Portuguese. A Portuguese-speaking person or nation is referred to as "Lusophone" (Lusófono).

Dæmonarch was a black metal band constituted by 4 of the 5 then-members of the Portuguese gothic metal band Moonspell. Only one album was released, named Hermeticum. The album is born from a compilation of poetry written by Fernando Ribeiro between the ages 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 Fernando Ribeiro.jpg
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 (2006–2009)

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 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.

Night Eternal 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, Septicflesh 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]

In July 2010 it was reported that the Portuguese Postal Service would release "a collection of stamps that represent the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal," which included Moonspell's first album, Wolfheart . [12]

Alpha Noir and Omega White, Extinct, and 1755 (2010 onwards)

Moonspell at Kavarna Rock Fest 2011. Moonspell - Kavarna Rock Fest 2011.jpg
Moonspell at Kavarna Rock Fest 2011.

In July 2010, vocalist Fernando Ribeiro revealed the band was working on a new album, which he described as "the most exciting, sexiest, darkest, heaviest and catchiest stuff we've written in ages!". [12] In December 2011 Moonspell signed with Napalm Records, and Ribeiro released the following statement:

"Signing with Napalm is a firm step into cutting all bullshit and work with people who truly believe in us and respect our longevity, while helping us to embrace those who have been arriving in the last years to start with us yet another kingdom of darkness under the moon. Our new album is a statement. Our blood is the ink. Your skin, the scrolls upon we will write. Napalm Records, our messenger. Be ready." [13]

In January 2012, Moonspell revealed the title of the new album to be Alpha Noir , with a release date of April 27, 2012 and a special edition set to include the album's "musical twin", Omega White . [14] The band's press release cited Bathory, King Diamond, Onslaught, early Metallica, Testament, and Artillery as influences for Alpha Noir, which was described as "an incendiary album". [14] Omega White was instead described as an album of "pure atmosphere and shadow", an homage to Type O Negative and The Sisters of Mercy and similar to Moonspell's second album Irreligious . [14] Alpha Noir and Omega White were both produced and mixed by Tue Madsen, who had previously worked on the band's Under Satanæ and Night Eternal records. [14]

In 2015 Moonspell released a new cd titled "Extinct". This album continues Moonspell's trend into darker and more gothic music.

On November 3, 2017, they released a concept album named "1755". It details the story of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and is sung entirely in Portuguese.

Band members




Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsSales Certifications
  • Released: April 1, 1995
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Released: July 29, 1996
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Released: January 20, 1998
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
The Butterfly Effect
  • Released: September 13, 1999
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
Darkness and Hope
  • Released: September 18, 2001
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
The Antidote
  • Released: September 29, 2003
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Released: April 25, 2006
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
Night Eternal
  • Released: May 16, 2008
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
Alpha Noir/Omega White
  • Released: April 27, 2012
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Released: March 6, 2015 [27]
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1755 [28]
  • Released: November 3, 2017 [29]
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums

TitleAlbum details
Lusitanian Metal
  • Released: December 8, 2008
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD


TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
The Great Silver Eye
  • Released: June 29, 2007
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Under Satanæ
  • Released: October 12, 2007
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


TitleAlbum details
Under the Moonspell
  • Released: April 27, 1994
  • Label: Adipocere Records
  • Formats: CD, Vinyl.
2econd Skin
  • Released: October 29, 1997
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD

Video albums

TitleVideo details
Lusitanian Metal
  • Released: December 8, 2008
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: DVD
Lisboa Under the Spell
  • Released: August 17, 2018
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray


TitleDemo details
Anno Satanæ
  • Released: February 24, 1993
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS

Music videos

1998"2econd Skin"
Sin / Pecado
1999"Butterfly Fx"
The Butterfly Effect
2001"Nocturna"Tiago GuedesDarkness and Hope
2003"Everything Invaded"Tiago Guedes, Frederico SerraThe Antidote
2004"I'll See You in My Dreams"Filipe MeloI'll See You in My Dreams (soundtrack)
2006"Finisterra"Ivan Colic, Josip ColicMemorial
"Luna"Miguel Braga, Edgar Martins, Sergio Martins [30]
2008"Scorpion Flower"Ivan ColicNight Eternal
"Night Eternal"
2012"Lickanthrope"Felipe MeloAlpha Noir/Omega White
"White Skies"
Victor Castro
Victor Castro
Victor Castro
2017"In Tremor Dei" [31]
Miguel Braga
2017"Todos os Santos"Paulo F. Mendes (Editor)1755

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