Posten, Odense - 2018

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

In the city of the poet (the Danish one, not the English), Moonspell decided to make a stop on their 1755 tour, and play us some choice cuts. They had brought Cradle Of Filth with them as an afterparty band, but we all know which band was the most important here.

The visuals were certainly in place, as we were looking up at a backdrop depicting a ruined Moonspell cathedral - the one from the end of the In Tremor Dei video, if you’ve seen that one (if not, do it now!) - and Pedro Paixão’s organ-looking keyboard held a prominent place on the stage.
As the lights went down in the room, there was but little left on the stage as well, and when the new version of Em Nome Do Medo began rolling out of the speakers, a dark figure approached…
It was Fernando Ribeiro, wearing black, torn clothes, a black overcoat, and a black, wide brimmed hat. In his hand was a lantern with a dim candle burning inside. The image of a survivor searching through the rubble for loved ones, or any sign of life apart from himself, was perfect, and chilling. When reaching the microphone, he began his whispered singing along to the backtracked symphonies. After being spellbound by this stylish intro for a while, the rest of the band walked on, and joined in on the song with their respective instruments - thus we got a mix of both the old and new version of the song.

In case it had escaped your attention, Moonspell’s latest album, 1755, is a concept album, depicting a real life tragedy that befell the Portuguese capitol Lisbon. An earthquake hit on All Saints Day, leaving the city in ruins; and with subsequent fires and tsunami flooding, the death toll kept rising, making it one of the deadliest earthquakes in history.
On album, Moonspell walks us through this disaster in 10 devastating tracks, 7 of which had made their way onto this night’s 11 track setlist. No doubt the band is proud of their effort, as well they should be.

Still, the room wasn’t as packed yet as it would become later on, yet there was a sizable crowd already, and contrary to regular shows, where there’s a support band (which no one wants to see) and a main band (which everyone’s all about), it was clear to see that the present audience knew full well what they were watching, and they liked it!
Ribeiro didn’t address the crowd much however, excusing his lack of talking with the band trying to press as much music in as they could. Well, that’s a fair reason, if ever there was one. And what the band lacked in words, they made up for in action!
Honestly, I was perfectly blown away by how well Moonspell handled themselves and the crowd this night. I mean, I’ve seen this band tons of times by now, and while the most magical performance still is that semi-acoustic show at Wacken back in 2012, I’m happy to report that they still possess the ability to surprise and enthrall - this was by no means another night at the office!

While the style was familiar, Moonspell had a few new tricks up its sleeve. One has been described above, another was the long-beaked plague mask Ribeiro wore during the song 1755. In playing Scorpion Flower, the band was joined on stage by Lindsay Schoolcraft (Cradle Of Filth). While she’s no Anneke van Giersbergen (then again, who is?), she did a very good job of it, and I applaud the band for not using a backtrack on this. In fact, this was the most present and interesting part of Schoolcraft’s performance for the entire evening, but that’s another story. Another, less understandable prop the band used, was the large cross, which Ribeiro swung around a bit during Todos Os Santos I believe. It had two red lasers built into it, and yeah, I don’t know. It didn’t really do it, not for me at least.
There were more classic ingredients as well, ingredients that worked better than the cross - for instance, the crowd participating howl at the start of Full Moon Madness. Ribeiro may not have had much time to talk in, but the band could obviously get the crowd going in other ways as well!

To call this show poetic, may be taking just a smudge too far, but calling it the best regular Moonspell show I’ve ever seen is not. Wow, that’s all that can be said. Wow.


Em Nome Do Medo
In Tremor Dei
Scorpion Flower (feat. Lindsay Schoolcraft)
Todos Os Santos
Alma Mater
Full Moon Madness

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