It’s a bit frustrating that it takes me so long to write a review. Working my ass off, being a parent and numerous other things takes their toll. Nevertheless, I’ll at least try to get a review out once a month – Ending 2016 with a review of an album by one of my favorite bands. Moonspell has bene accompanying me for over 15 years. The band way my gateway to more extreme metal music and especially Irreligious will always have a special place in my heart.
Pressing quality and gatefold/sleeves:
The reissue comes as a single sleeve containing the record sleeve, the green transparent vinyl, a poster and the CD version of the album. The sleeve itself is of mediocre quality and has not been glued together perfectly. This unfortunately happened a lot lately with a number of releases. The LP is housed in a black, anti-static record sleeve – seriously, this should be standard by now. The heavyweight LP has significant fraying around the center hole but is otherwise in perfect condition. Side A is a bit off-center to the left (~1mm) but that does not have an effect on sound quality. It almost seems that the production was a bit rushed. When you compare this to other recent releases the lack of quality in production is not uncommon. Still, I’d expect more from a label like Century Media.
I’ll make it short this time. The sound quality is amazing in every way possible. First of all, the release has an FDR Rating of 11 . I’ve tested quite a few releases in the past and this is definitely top 10. Every instrument is clearly distinguishable even on lower volume and Fernando’s voice sounds as harsh as in real life. There are also no signs of compression when looking at the songs via Spek. Compared to the CD Album (which comes with the vinyl version) – the sound quality is way superior. There have been some discussion lately about the accuracy of the FDR Meter especially when a CD and vinyl release use the same master (read more here). As this release was remastered for vinyl it should be pretty accurate though.
“Irreligious” is definitely in the top 3 of Moonspell albums along with “The Antidote” and “Wolfheart” and contains some of Moonspell’s most popular songs with Opium, Mephisto and Full Moon Madness. It’s only their second full studio album but their black metal roots completely vanished, thus following the trend set on their previous release. While their roots were audible sometimes on “Wolfheart” they have completely vanished on “Irreligious”. The song Opium, a strong opener – is among Moonspell’s most popular releases along with the even more amenable songs from “Night Eternal”. If you’re a fan of moonspell you may already appreciate what the band has done on this album. If you’re new to the band this is the album to begin with. It’s a perfect display of the capability of Fernando’s vocals and of what the band will become till 2016.
While this Century Media release has its flaws when it comes to the quality of the pressing and the sleeves, it is still a superb release music wise. One of the best sounding releases of 2016 which could only be topped as a 45rpm double LP release. A big bonus is the price as it comes rather cheap and can be had for under 20 bucks currently (the black version). A wholeheartedly recommendation for any fan of Moonspell.
I decided to ditch the up next as I get so many different albums between blog posts and I don’t want to decide a month in advance what to review next. So consider it a surprise in the future.