metal talk
instagram Facebook Twitter RSS
metal talk
Moonspell, Camden Underworld, London
Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th December 2016

metal talk
Words: Steve Göldby, Pictures: Ash Phoenix


Moonspell arrived in London at a bad time, right at the end of the biggest influx of gigs we have experienced for some time and with the festive season about to hit full swing, yet still they managed to pack out the Underworld, not just on the Monday night but on the Tuesday as well.

The Portuguese Gothic rockers were in town to play two shows, one dedicated to their debut album, 'Wolfheart', and the other given over to second album, 'Irrelegious'. Billed as 'The Night Of The Wolf' and 'Irrelegious XX Years, plus whatever comes', Moonspell flexed their musical muscles and showed just why they are the leading exponents of atmospheric Goth Metal by undertaking this 'double dare' and emerging triumphant.

Before the Monday night performance, Ash Phoenix of MetalTalk spoke with drummer and founder member Mike Gaspar about the next Moonspell album, the band's inspirations, life in the band and on the road and what is his favourite ice cream. Here's the conversation in full.

It wasn't your usual atmosphere in the Underworld but if you are familiar with the 'Wolfheart' album you will know exactly why. This is a deep and melancholic piece of work, full of dark subtleties and devoid of the Hollywood airbrushed and romanticised vampyrism that is all too prevalent on the big screen.

In terms of atmosphere, this is how it was when Vlad and his counterparts roamed the earth; not a frilly collar in sight, just darkness tinged with fright and an unnerving feeling that whatever was to step out of the shadows next was probably not on your side.


'Wolfheart' has most definitely stood the test of time since it's 1995 release and that's probably because it encompasses all the light, shade and darkness you would expect from an opus that was represented in the form of an official stamp issued by the Portuguese Postal Service as part of a collection that represented the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal.

Bela Lugosi might be long dead but his true spirit lives on in 'Wolfheart' whch is fully representative of an age that has inspired countless protagonists of Gothic imagery. Some fall short but Moonspell bring it right to your front doorstep with not a cardboard Hammer horror style backdrop in sight.


Even the instrumental 'Lua d'Inverno' works well tonight, as well as 'Trebaruna' and 'Ataegina', which are sung in the band's native Portuguese, and vocalist Fernando Ribeiro is on fire here, giving it a full bloodied performance as he stakes a claim and casts a dark shadow over London.

'An Erotic Alchemy', inspired by and quoting Marquis de Sade, and 'Alma Mate' round things off before a set of encores from latter day albums keep the crowd in raptures and provide an interesting and noteworthy comparison between older and modern day Moonspell songs. It all works so, so well and it's a happy crowd who wander into the night knowing there is more to come tomorrow.


As well as 'Wolfheart' being a masterpiece that has not dated, 'Irrelegious' is an epic body of work that stands side by side with it's predecessor and as the Gregorian overtoned intro of 'Perverse... Almost Religious' pumps out, few in the crowd are under any illusions and know they are in for a heavy, heavy treat tonight.

Fernando is in full swing again and the Count of the Underworld delivers a superb performance with his colleagues pushing him all the way as Moonspell prove they are very far from undead.


Gasps from a spellbound audience ring out as the Portuguese blast through 'Awake!' then deliver a full-on 'For A Taste Of Eternity' which keeps the suspense at full power while 'Raven Claws' simply impales and implores.

'Full Moon Madness' is saved for the encore, as it was last night, along with 'Night Eternal', the title track of Moonspell's ninth studio album. These were two eternal nights full of Gothic intrigue as Moonspell contrived to awaken the dead with a sound befitting labyrinthic passages with light and dark interplay interspersed with shades of grey and blood-red. Superlative.


beer beer beerbeerbeerbeer beer beerbeerbeer

Monday Setlist:
Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade)
Love Crimes
...Of Dream And Drama (Midnight Ride)
Lua d'Inverno
An Erotic Alchemy
Alma Mater

Breathe (Until We Are No More)
Night Eternal
Full Moon Madness




Tuesday Setlist:
Intro: Perverse... Almost Religious
For A Taste Of Eternity
Ruin & Misery
A Poisoned Gift
Raven Claws
Herr Spiegelmann
Alma Mater

Everything Invaded
Em Nome Do Medo
Night Eternal
Full Moon Madness




Steve Göldby's Heavy Metal Chronicles



monsters of rock

Monsters Of Rock In Full Flight is strictly limited to 300 worldwide and is available from 30th November but those ordering before 31st October will have their name published within a dedicated page in the book.

It's a deluxe 128 page hardback book in a metal flight case with a narrative by Jerry Bloom.

When promoter Paul Loasby put on the first Monsters Of Rock Festival in 1980 he could probably never have imagined it would become an annual event that would endure for so many years.

Featuring bands from the UK, Germany, Canada and USA, Loasby chose to stage the event at the Donington race circuit in the middle of England and it would prove to be a defining moment for many of the bands on the bill.

Not least for headliners Rainbow as it was the their last ever show to feature drum legend Cozy Powell. As it would happen it turned out to be the last for vocalist Graham Bonnet as well. For many of the other bands on the bill such as Scorpions, Judas Priest and Saxon, they were all on the ascendancy and would soon go on to even greater success.

Now in celebration of this first ever Monsters Of Rock Festival comes this hardback book full of glorious photos of the bands that took to the stage for that inaugural event including back stage shots. Most of these shots have not been published before which add to the uniqueness of this deluxe 128-page book which is packaged in its own flight case.

Also included are stories surrounding the event with tales and recollections from those who were there, including artists and fans alike. Each book will be signed by the author. The 300 will sell fast and definitely go on to become collector's items so order yours now right here to avoid disappointment.


metal talk © All written site content is copyright MetalTalk.net 2008-2017, unless otherwise stated, and is not to be used without prior permission.