Darkness and Hope
By Moonspell
2001 Century Media

With Darkness and Hope Moonspell attempted to regain some fans put off by the more gothic and electronic Sin/Pecado and Butterfly Effect. On this they keep the melodic and gothic elements but put a stronger metal edge to it all. Many fans however were either attracted or repelled by the disc. I personnaly like it alot, though I don't think Moonspell has done a bad thing yet. This is a very good gothic metal cd, containing some great moments, however be warned that not everyone has liked it.

"Darkness and Hope" begins the cd on an epic almost Type O Negative type of feel, I like it though. "Firewalking" then begins. This is a very speedy song, with some dark lyrics and a few death metal vocals in the chorus.

The third song is one of my favorites however. "Nocturna" is a dark beautiful and emotional song. This song nicely creates a balance between gothic elements and metal elements. This song seems to be about a vampiress: "Sister of Cain, all our breed slain, the youthful oath, is still the same, Le mal de vivre, that never ends, but the hunt (for you) goeson, throughout the night." Then suddenly we have "Heart Shaped Abyss", which is another one of my favorite songs on here. It almost seems like a continuation of the last song at first. "Never resist, the firewalker, he has been sent, to educate you... And when we meet there, into the Heartshaped Abyss, you'll scar me with your kiss."

"Devilred" reminds me of some songs off of Danzig's 6:66 Satan's Child. It's more of a fun song musically (if not lyrically). It helps to break up the mood after the last two very dark and sad songs. After that we have another of my personal favorites in "Ghostsong" which is a haunting song about just that- a haunting. The chorus is lovely but disturbing: "Say what you are, Come here to haunt you, Say what you will, I am going to haunt you, and portect you, I am going to hurt you." Something about all of this is really creepy, but tender and beautiful at the same time. It's also a change of pace, no more metal guitars, no speedy drums, instead a more laid back sound which reminds me of Catherine Wheel around Wishville.

"Rapaces" comes next, beginning with a sample from a movie. The song is kind of an odd one with different parts patched together. It also seems to be about vampires. "Not all vampires drink blood, not all of them die for love" goes the screamed chorus. I didn't like this song at first but now I really like it. I like how it goes suddenly from one sound to another.

"Made of Storm" comes next, a more metal song, with alot of growling vocals. The lyrics seem to be about very degraded sex, although the kind of round about narrative mainly implies things. I like this song as well.

Next is "How we became Fire" which like many of their songs comes in quietly, but never really gets to be a metal song. This is another more Catherine Wheel sounding song to me, with a H.I.M. like melody in the chorus. It sounds like a song about sadness for falling into the trap of total desire, with a need to be something else, water or air perhaps, as is put forth in the song. "How we became fire, slaves to a smaller Desire, Ignoring wrong and right."

"Than the Serpents in My Hands" is a much more wordy song than the last one, and it also is a very dark song about regrets when nothing is left, but the "serpents in my arms". I like this song alot. However it is not the end, for we have a cover of Ozzy's "Mr. Crowley" off of his best solo record (IMHO) The Blizzard of Oz. This is a pretty good cover, really just as good as the original and not a bad place to end this record.

All in all I like this whole record alot, I don't think there's really a bad song on here. It's a strong album, and any fan of gothic or melodic metal should check it out for sure.

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