Genre: Gothic Metal
Country: Portugal
Label: Napalm Records
Year: 2021

2021 finds Moonspell far away from the stage where they belong, however this doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t find the proper way to introduce the new year with a record that completes the Holy Trinity of their latest endeavors, following a completely different direction from what we’ve known so far.

The Portuguese gang with “Hermitage” lead their way to the path they marked through “Extinct” and “1755”, leaving behind their erotic, gothic atmosphere and the dark folklore, as well as the macabre poetry. Despite the fact that the group is due to reach their 30 year career, they continue to find new aspects in their music during their studio sessions, yet they manage never to be repetitive in their albums. That is, of course, the case in “Hermitage” as well. According to Fernando Ribeiro, they are already living in their latest years as musicians and this is coming out quite obviously due to the entire vibe of the album. Having given a great amount of importance to their choruses their latest years those Portuguese indicate a strong influence on progressive and classic heavy metal during the past decade. This is something that is not easy to come across with in their prime albums, (The Butterfly Effect, Sin/Pecado) It comes with no question that “Night Eternal” is probably their career’s highlight, but in spite of this, the band could not but take a step further every time and never retained this exact archetype. “Hermitage” consists of goth anthems, in a slightly serious and “mature” vibe for their music ID, with some spots being really special and reminding of previous glories. “Entitlement” falls into that very category, as well as the latest single “All or Nothing”. The album closes down with a beautiful, bittersweet tune, leaving us with some kind of sorrowful farewell probably from the band’s perspective (or, this is at least what I think of it each time I hear it).

“Hermitage” is another fine addition to the band’s discographic quiver and Moonspell manages to fill the void their absence from the stages, while it also says a lot about their plans for the future.

3,5/6