Moonspell - Under Satanae

It’s hard to comprehend why anyone would choose to re-release a work which wasn’t especially good in the first place, let alone re-recorded it. That’s exactly the treatment Portugal’s Moonspell gave their first release, the “Under the Moonspell EP, originally issued in 1994 by defunct French label Adipocere. Rounded by songs from their “Anno Satanae” demo-tape and “Serpent Angel”, the only song taped under the moniker of Morbid God, “Under Satanae” is primarily an overview of the first part of their career, prior to the signing to Century Media and the consequent release of their debut “Wolfheart”. Let’s just say it wasn’t their most auspicious moment, which is probably why Moonspell have chosen to revamp these songs at Denmark's Antfarm studios with Tue Madsen supervising.
Combining Middle East ethnic sounds with the mid-tempo basic riffage of early Celtic Frost, and a vast array of acoustic and keyboards interludes and intros, “Under the Moonspell” shows a band with some interesting ideas (the use of Portuguese guitar on “Chorai Lusitania” being on of them), but ultimately suffers from a rather rudimentary song-structuring. The same can be said about “Goat on Fire” and “Ancient Winter Goddess”, the two songs from precarious demo “Anno Satanae”, where the band’s admiration for Bathory’s works really shines forth.
Anyway, I’m sure Moonspell fans will welcome the opportunity to hear these early tracks, even if it represents a somehow pedestrian period of a band that have since then evolved into one the most respected and talented bands of nowadays. (4/10)

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