Metalcamp - 2011

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

After a great opening by Brujeria, it was time for yet another one of the bands we were looking the most forward to at this year’s Metalcamp; the Portuguese gothic metal band Moonspell.
Admittedly, it somehow felt wrong to see them in the early afternoon under a blazing sun, but these were the conditions we had to work with here…

“It’s a great privilege and a great honour to be here at this beautiful, beautiful festival!”
- Fernando Ribeiro (vocals)

Well, blazing sun or no, Moonspell were definitely ready to bring their own private darkness over Tolmin as they began their show by bringing the world to an end with In Memoriam and Finisterra, something they were loved for by the Slovenian and international crowd alike as everyone raised their arms and devil-horns in the air.
With this success strengthening them, the band moved straight forward to their latest album, and the song Night Eternal, in which things started moving against them, at least so the sound. All of a sudden it was as if someone at the soundboard had found out about subwoofers and all we could hear was the bass and bass-drum. Even Ribeiro’s vocals were drowned out, especially so the clean ones he obviously more power into the harsh screams.
The sound was slightly corrected after this song but it never got good, not for Moonspell nor for the most of the festival I’m sorry to say…

Still, a less than satisfactory sound wasn’t enough to put a stopper for the band or its enthusiastic fans who had really warmed up by now, both sides that is. The band was a delight to see, drummer Miguel Gaspar was often seen standing up, and Ribeiro did a great job at directing the crowd to do his bidding. Throughout almost all the songs I kept seeing the sea of arms high in the air, and during several songs a loud sing-along to the choruses could be heard. Ribeiro sent us through a ”…bittersweet…” mood with Scorpion Flower, in which Anneke Van Giersbergen’s vocals were played as a pre-recorded overdub, and after getting us well down in mood he brought something along with a promise to cheer us up, namely Opium (which truly did do the promised job!)
In the not so surprisingly final song of the set, Full Moon Madness, Ribeiro acquired a pair of drum sticks, and when not singing he could often be seen helping Gaspar out with banging away at the cymbals. After the show there was a bow, and the singer was the first one to throw stuff (the aforementioned sticks) out to the fans, and then they left not without a spoken wish to return some day, a wish I’m sure many here shared with them.

Moonspell, with all things going against them, still managed to pull of one of the most memorable shows of the festival. The only negative thing I have to mention was that I was quickly running out of acts to really look forward to, as they seemed to be placed on the first day…

Setlist (incomplete):

In Memoriam
Night Eternal
Scorpion Flower
Alma Mater
Full Moon Madness

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