Support tonight comes from the Swiss Melodic Death Metal outfit SoulLine whose particular style appears to be going down very well with the so far sparsely spread crowd in the Button Factory, though it is noticeable that a steady trickle has begun to flow through the doors to the side of the stage. With a forty five minute set on offer tonight the band has plenty of time to show an Irish audience exactly what they are made of.
With a sound reminiscent of bands like Soilwork and the Swedish Melodic Death movement there’s tonnes of melody in the guitar work, but maybe a change up in pace or style at times would have added something to this particular showing, nothing wrong with the music, but some of the tracks in the middle of the set did seem to run into each other a little, had closing track Drunk been placed a few songs closer to the middle it would have broken things up nicely as it’s very much different in style, more punk edged. That said tracks like The Curse In Our Minds (from 2014’s We Curse, We Trust), or Welcome My Sun and Broken By Madness from last years Welcome My Sun album sounded really good, and it should be noted how well support bands have been going down at Dublin shows recently. This was again a fine introduction to the band and will be interesting to see them come back to visit us again.
The Curse In Our Minds
Welcome My Sun
Broken By Madness
From a very quiet beginning the venue is now starting to fill up and just like at last weeks Amorphis show there’s a buzz coming from the floor, people are excited to get to see Moonspell in Dublin, and it’s also quite obvious that there are a number of Portuguese natives in attendance at tonight’s show, with plenty of flags and Jerseys on show. and the band interacts in their own language.
For me Moonspell are one of the very few bands that have successfully managed to fuse Metal and Goth Styles successfully and there are changes and transitions through their songs that blend perfectly. Tonight’s varied set marries old and new very well and there’s a great balance about it, with no fewer than four tracks from 2015’s Extinct getting an airing, and they fit in and sound perfect. One very striking thing about tonight’s performance is that Fernando’s vocals get stronger and stronger as the set goes on, at times he’s mesmerizing to watch, like on more theatrical tracks like Vampiria and the epic set closer Full Moon Madness which is absolutely superbly performed tonight and a blinding way to close out the night, Ricardo’s excellent guitar playing also to the fore throughout.
There is definitely a visual aspect to their set but not in a gimmicky way, it just all adds to the show, and is definitely a part of what they do, even their backdrop is one of the most impressive we’ve seen for some time. You know it’s great when any band makes a Tuesday feel like a weekend. One of the best tracks from the Excinct album, one of the lightest musically but darkest in sound is the almost ballad like The Future Is Dark, which was going to be quite interesting as to how it translated live, but there was no need to worry, again Ricardo’s guitar sounded wonderful right through it and Fernando spun a dark web with the lyrics, terrific song, played to perfection.
As much as I love the new Moonspell material, and it really does sound great live, but the end of the set there are two massive highlights still screaming in my head, both come from the classic debut album Wolfheart, …Of Dream And Drama (Midnight Ride)”, being played for the first time on this tour tonight, and the epic and slightly heavier Alma Mater which is just breathtaking tonight, looking around the crowd tonight and the busy floor area has lots of head movement, fist pumping and singing going on, and it’s no surprise. Moonspell really are a top quality band with five parts of an extremely solid unit, determined to put on a great show for fans new and old, and genuinely appreciative of their audience, this may have been the bands first visit to Irish shores after twenty three years of creating great music, but I doubt it will be their only visit, hopefully they will be back soon, as again this was an excellent show, the standard of shows in 2016 has been extremely high so far, any bands following the likes of Therion, Amorphis and Moonspell better bring their A-Game.
Breathe (Until We Are No More)
…Of Dream And Drama (Midnight Ride)
Ruin And Misery
The Last Of Us
The Future Is Dark
Full Moon Madness
Check out the full photo gallery below courtesy of Down The Barrel Photography.
Words – Stephen Brophy
Images: Down The Barrel Photography