Album Review: Moonspell – From Down Below (Live 80 Meters Deep)

It seems that at long last, Moonspell, a band that have been consistently delivering high quality music for three decades, are finally getting the recognition they deserve. 2021’s Hermitage stood alongside the best in their catalogue and their support slot with Paradise Lost in the early part of this year earned them many more new fans in the UK at least.

Whilst the pandemic was keeping music venues across the globe to remain closed, Moonspell looked at innovative ways to ensure that they delivered live music to their fans. I was gripped by their live Halloween broadcast in 2020 at a socially distanced theatre in Beja and now the band are set to release one incredible live set that is truly memorable.

Recorded live at Grutas de Mira D’Aire – one of Portugal’s seven natural wonders, the country’s most successful metal band of all time deliver the whole of Hermitage from inside on of the most impressive caves in Europe. Given that live recordings can be dodgy, it’s an astonishing piece of work, with the visual recordings adding to the stunning audio version that I had to review. (Check out the video below).

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The audio recording provides a crisp, cinematic sound that enhances tracks like “Entitlement”, “All or Nothing” and “The Hermit Saints”. It’s an opportunity to hear the whole album performed in front of a select audience underground. The sonic drift from the delicate “All or Nothing” to the crushingly heavy title track, complete with orchestral effects is beautiful. The whole band are in fine form with Fernando Ribeiro’s ability to switch from heart-breaking cleans to death growls and roars as impressive as ever. His vocal work on “The Hermitage Saints” and “Solitarian” just two songs where he excels. The sound is crystal clear, the kind you’d die for at most gigs, allows the guitar work of Ricardo Amorim to slice through the sound gorgeously.

It’s a recording that you can sit back and enjoy visually or just as easily absorb aurally through decent headphones. Immersive and immensely captivating, From Down Below – Live 80 Meters Deep is a live album of unique style and substance.

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From Down Below – Live 80 Meters Deep is out on 30th September

Check out all the bands we review in 2022 on our Spotify and YouTube playlists!

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