Moonspell / Insomnium
23 April 2013
Camden Underworld, London
A late arrival meant I missed openers Insomnium; however, Johan was on hand to take some shots and get their set list.
Inertia / Where The Last Wave Broke / Unsung / Down With the Sun / Through the Shadows / Change Of Heart / Only One Who Waits / Weather The Storm / One for Sorrow
It was quite unusual to only have one support act at an Underworld show and the time remaining permitted Moonspell a marathon set which covered all but two of their albums. Kicking off with Axis Mundi, mainman Fernando Ribeiro took up his position centre stage wearing a bizarre metal helmet.Drummer Migel Gaspar, looking uncannily like Vinnie Paul, hammered into his kit in an aggressive opening. Alpha Noir from the same album continued with guitars echoing.
One of my favourites from Moonspell’s more recent discography was up next as the pummelling Finisterra got heads banging and the crowd singing along to the “A light, at the end of the earth” refrain. Gaspar’s machine gun drumming was called upon once more for Night Eternal, pleasing those liking the heavier side of the band. It was a packed and mixed audience with metal fans mixing with Goths and the latter were appeased as Moonspell headed to 1996’s Irreligious for Opium with a “Hey, hey, hey” chant from the crowd. Ribeiro informed us they were here to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary passing last year. Continuing with the same album, Awake maintained the gothic feel.
In fact this middle section of the set very much picked up on Moonspell’s more melodic side as Abysmo led to Nocturna. Obviously she can’t make every show, but it was disappointing that not only Anneke van Giersbergen’s vocals but a lot of the backing appeared to be on tape for Scorpion Flower, though regardless it went down a storm.
Moving to another section, it was time to visit the Alpha Noir side of the band’s latest album with back to back renditions of Lickanthrope, a particularly rousing Love Is Blasphemy and Em Nome Do Medo.
The crowd’s energy didn’t appear to be letting up and the old school fans were about to be rewarded with five of the eight tracks from the band’s Wolfheart debut album. Vampiria and its immortal line of “You’re a Beast, Evil One” led the way. Next the surprise inclusion of Trebaruna which saw the crowd go nuts, though for me it’s diddle-dee folk tune sounded a bit like a deranged ice cream van. An Erotic Alchemy then took us to crowd favourite Alma Mater as the main set came to a close.
Sticking with Wolfheart, Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) saw the band back on stage to a rapturous response. It was then left to Irreligious favourites Mephisto and Full Moon Madness to close proceedings. For a Moonspell fan this must have been the set from heaven, but even for a more casual fan, the excellent pacing of the setlist led to a thoroughly rewarding evening spent with the Portuguese band.
Axis Mundi / Alpha Noir / Finisterra / Night Eternal / Opium / Awake / Abysmo / Nocturna / Scorpion Flower / Lickanthrope / Love Is Blasphemy / Em Nome Do Medo / Vampiria / Trebaruna / An Erotic Alchemy / Alma Mater / Wolfshade (A Werewolf Masquerade) / Mephisto / Full Moon Madness