It is difficult for me to begin this article and focus on the specific album without making a tribute to Moonspell as a band. Those who are fans of Moonspell will perhaps understand my point. Looking back at their discography, I chose ‘The Butterfly Effect‘ for various reasons. Being a fan of Moonspell myself, I think this album somehow divides opinions amongst their fans.
‘The Butterfly Effect‘ is the fourth full-length album by Moonspell and it was released in the same period that Paradise Lost released ‘Host‘. Many reviewers and fans were talking at the time about an ‘experimental phase’ in both bands’ discographies. I won’t argue with the term “experimental”, and although I can understand the disappointment coming from those who loved these two bands for their early work, I must say that ‘The Butterfly Effect‘ in this case didn’t come as a surprise (with the sense of something completely different or strange). Those who take a really good look at Moonspell’s course through the years can realize how deeply and genuinely gothic they are.
While in all of their other albums the five members contribute equally, in ‘The Butterfly Effect‘ the protagonist is Pedro Paixão (keyboards, samplers, guitar). That gives a more electronic sound to the album without eliminating the dark and gothic Moonspell elements. The song ‘Tired‘ is a perfect example of this, as it evokes Mozart’s ‘Requiem‘ in a brilliant way. As the album’s title implies, it is inspired by ‘chaos theory’. Fernando Ribeiro uses both clear and growling vocals, and the guitars and the drums dress (this time) the keyboards, giving the dark atmosphere that Moonspell represent. And of course, the romantic element is also present, combined with the album’s theme, in the tracks ‘Can’t Bee‘, which is my personally favourite, and ‘Disappear Here‘.
Undoubtedly, everything is personal taste. I think that those who have followed Moonspell until the present day can appreciate ‘The Butterfly Effect‘ as an important sample of the sound the band represents.