Originally posted on Valkyrian Music.
Today is the release of MOONSPELL’s so awaited “1755” (review here). Three shows were performed in advance and I attended the last one – the one when the infamous 1755 earthquake completed its 262nd anniversary.
A drawing of Lisbon in ruins – like the video for “In Tremor Dei” – as backdrop, one stand on each side of the stage for the Crystal Mountain Singers, and the new orchestral version of “Em Nome Do Medo” started playing at ten in the evening. Recorded, serving as intro, as the original version would be performed live later on the encore. So the first song to actually be performed was the title-track, Fernando Ribeiro singing it wearing a raven Venetian mask. As the album had been available in streaming format for a couple of days, a good share of the crowd was already singing along; the singles “Todos Os Santos”, “Evento” and “In Tremor Dei” had pretty much the whole house backing up the lyrics, not just the choruses. MOONSPELL are known for their powerful shows but when the crowd responds accordingly, interacting like they did that night, it’s always an overwhelming thrill.
Overwhelming was also the presence of fado singer Paulo Bragança. On my album review I’ve described his voice as “riveting” and that the outcome of his collaboration with MOONSPELL was “mind blowing”. It’s so much more when you experience it live that there’s no accurate words for it.
In a “city and venue that always welcomed them so warmly” (quoting Fernando himself), the tragedy told in this new album turned into rapture; Fernando said he understood that it would take us a while to get used to “1755”, not just for being new but also for being sung in Portuguese, but for what I saw that night no adjustment period is required.
For the cover of “Lanterna Dos Afogados” (by OS PARALAMAS DO SUCESSO), the lights dimmed and Fernando held a lantern – the backup singers as well – enhancing that light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel feeling which the songs bears.
The album is a little less than one hour long, so even with the usual chit-chat – “dial 17 55 if you want more information. By now we know everything there is to know about earthquakes” was quite funny – it was too short for a concert. So they came back to play a 7-hit encore. No matter how many times you listen to those final “Alma Mater” and “FullMoon Madness”, the shiver down your spine is simply mandatory.