Moonspell started in Portugal, back in 1989 when Ares, Fernando Ribeiro, and two others formed a band called Morbid God. Morbid God was the culmination of the combined desired to form a band of the four members. Ares and Fernando were going to also work in a side project called Archangel, which never came to fruition. The four managed to find some space to practice, along with some cheap instruments, in Brandoa, where Moonspell still hails from. It was here that the quartet recorded "The Fever" by candlelight. With a song recorded on a demo, Morbid God was looking to record professionally, but the Army had different ideas, for it called away the drummer and guitarist, stopping the band from recording.
The band idled for a year. In that year, the group parted ways with their guitarist and recruited a friend named Mantus. This new line-up quickly went at it and rehearsed like lunatics. On August 22, 1992 Morbid God recorded their fist song, called "Serpent Angel."
Serpent Angel got the band some attention as several small labels appeared and offered deals for EPs and some full length album. However the band decided not to jump into things. The band decided to wait, gel, and produce an actual demo. They got rid of their origional drummer and brought in Nisroth on guitar. Morbid God collectively changed it's name to Moonspell in October of 92. In January in the following year, Moonspell released "Anno Satanae" (The Year of Satan), a three track demo which brought them some noteriety in the underground scene. The demo got the attention of French label, Adipocere, who offered Moonspell do a mini-album, for release a year later in 94. Before that though, the band would again send their guitarist away. Moonspell brought in Tanngrisnir from the band Decayed, which caused a little scuffle between the two bands, and Pedro Paixao (Passionis/Neophytus) on keyboards. With their line-up again stable, the group recorded Under The Moonspell, which combined various influences into a sludgy album which rocked the underground scene. After the release of the album, the band toured relentlessly, being able to play on the same bill with Cradle of Filth, Cannibal Corpse, Samael and Anathema.
In 1995 it could almost be safe to say that the band made it, as they were signed to Death Metal/Grindcore label Century Media. The band released its first full length album, Wolfheart, in that year. It was produced by Waldemar Sorychta. They continued their dark sludgy sound on the album (think heavier Type O Negative). Moonspell was able to promote this album by grabbing a spot on Morbid Angel's Domination tour. Unfortunately the band would lose both guitarists before the tour. They hired Ricardo from Portuguese band P.Waltz to fill in. The tour would be well worth as sales of Wolfheart tripled, and even released a digipack.
In 1996, the band worked dilligently on their follow up album. Waldemar was producing it again. They came up with Irreligious. Irreligious was a hard rocking album with detuned guitars and a hot single called Opium, in love of the tantalizing drug that once caused the downfall of the Chinese Empire. Irreligious is the only album of Moonspell I have heard, and it rocks. Opium is definitely worth checking out.
Irreligious quickly went gold in Portugal, and even broke the top 50 in Germany where it stayed for 8 weeks. Not too shabby for an underground erotic/goth/metal band. Shortly after the album was released Moonspell hopped aboard Type O Negative's European tour, putting these two similar bands on the same bill. Record sales went up and everything seemed to be going well for Moonspell, but was it?
The band had not seen a lot of personal time, and that was beginning to have an effect on the moral of the band members. During this time Ares left the band, which hurt the band greatly. Moonspell found a new bassist in Sergio C, who was broken in on the manstage of the Dynamo Festival! Talk about a first gig with a band.
1997 was split between touring and recording their next album, entitled Sin
. They followed the release of Sin by selling out the Lisbon
Coliseum and a short South American tour. This was followed by more festivals and a European tour.
1992: Serpent Angel
(MORBID GOD's promo)
1993: anno satanae
1993: anno satanae
1993: goat on fire
(7" vinyl single)
1994: under the moonspell
1995: wolfheart (digipak)
1997: second skin
1999: the butterfly effect
2001: darkness and hope