September 28, 2007 | , | 3

Moonspell, Under Satanae

Portuguese black metalers Moonspell’s latest release doesn’t contain any newly written material. The 10 track album consists of a re-recording of the band’s early demo tape Anno Satanae as well as the only Morbid God (pre-Moonspell) recording, Serpent Angel. Added to those four tracks is the the full EP Under the Moonspell — six epic pieces of black metal mastery.

While this isn’t a new recording in the traditional sense, it is nice to have material that was previously nearly impossible to find. I’m more interested in the Morbid God material and the demo tape songs, but the EP’s songs are performed quite well and will keep your attention throughout their duration.

Halla alle halla al rabka halla (Praeludium/Incantatum solistitum)
The opening track starts out with the bang from a gong and some interesting vocals (a sample perhaps). It’s a slowly developing intro really with drums finally kicking in at about the 1:30 mark. The band uses it nicely to build momentum toward the first real song on the album.

Tenebararum Oratorium (Andamento I/Erudit compendyum)
Lots of big drumming and string orchestration pick up the pace after the intro. The drumming is powerful and sounds like it’s echoed from the depths of hell. The vocals kick in shortly with some nice riffing, ranging from deep guttural growls to cleanly sung. There’s a female vocal layered in with the main delivery that gives it a bit of depth as well. There are plenty of tempo changes to keep the listener on their toes as well as some Mediterranean influenced guitar work.

Another brief minute and a half of lightly plucked acoustic guitar breaks up the epic black metal tracks.

Tenebararum Oratorium (Andamento II/Erudit compendyum)
I love the evil riff that gets this one going. There are periodic blasts from the drums that are just insane. I think I could do without the female vocals on this one — they’re a bit much at times. There is a sick solo at about the three minute mark.

Opus Diabolicum (Andamento III/Instrumental compendyum)
String orchestration makes the transition from that last track smooth before some nice riffing and heavy handed drumming kicks in. There’s a good deal of keyboard work on this one, but it’s overshadowed by big riffs and spoken lyrics that are dark and brooding.

Chorai Lusitania! (Epilogus/Incantatam maresia)
After the oddly enjoyable “Opus Diabolicum,” Moonspell end the Under the Moonspell tracks with some Mediterranean flair on an acoustic guitar. This is the only track on this release that was not re-recorded.

Goat on Fire
“Goat on Fire” is the first from the Anno Satanae demo tape. It’s almost nearly a full minute before a memorable riff starts. This one is much more evil than the previous six tracks. It still has that epic feel, but is more raw with guttural vocals.

Ancient Winter Goddess
Hell yeah! Now this is what I’m talking about. “Ancient Winter Goddess” had plenty of big riffs and driving drums at a high energetic pace. The band only slows briefly for a few solos and dramatic pauses before exploding with screams and blasts from the drums.

Wolves From The Fog
A howl and slow, evil guitar work start this one off before thunderous drums drop. Deeply spoken vocals accompanied by a slick riff join in shortly after the start. Moonspell pick up the pace just before the 2 minute mark with driving riffs and pummeling drums. There are some memorable riffs throughout this track.

Serpent Angel
The final song on Under Satanae is a pre-Moonspell song that was originally recorded back in 1992. It’s got a more black metal core sound than the rest of the tracks on this album. It’s downright evil as fuck.

~ ~ ~

Under Satanae is an interesting mix of old and new music, both of which are a healthy combination of black and gothic metal. Thundering drums, soul shredding solos and an evil vocal delivery punctuate this re-recording. If you don’t have the original versions of this material, definitely pick this one up.

Favorite Tracks:
Ancient Winter Goddess
Wolves From The Fog
Serpent Angel

Additional Notes: