Moonspell have a track record of a couple of really good records behind them, including 2015’s ‘Extinct’, a particularly melodic and atmospheric album that I listened to over and over again back when it had come out – something that I’m afraid won’t be the case with this new offering.

It is undoubtedly a unique project in Moonspell’s career; ‘1755’ is a personal bet and passion project for mainman Fernando Robeiro, a concept album about the earthquake that utterly destroyed Lisbon, being one of the most severe natural disasters of all time in Europe. The lyrics are entirely in Portuguese, which de facto makes following the story more difficult. However, I didn’t pay much attention to that, given the fact that in other cases – from Rammstein to recent Rotting Christ creations – it doesn’t affect the enjoyment of the music.
The basic problem with ‘1755’ is the quality of the compositions. The moments worth remembering are truly few and far between, in a record that never builds up to any sort of climax. The variety in the vocal delivery that existed in ‘Extinct’, with the interplay between clean and brutal vocals, is completely absent, replaced by an abundance of choir chants that do very little to improve the already poor material in terms of riffs and ideas.

I will be surprised if in future tours any ‘1755’ songs survive in the long-term…