Moonspell is a Portuguese black metal/gothic metal band with death/doom metal elements, formed in 1989 as Morbid God. After renaming themselves Moonspell in 1992, they released their first EP Under the Moonspell in 1994, a year before of the release of their first album Wolfheart. The band quickly gained status and became one of the most recognizable metal bands from Portugal.
Moonspell reached the Portuguese top first with their album Sin/Pecado, and were, along with Metallica and Iron Maiden, the only metal band to reach the first place of the Portuguese charts after the release of their album, Memorial, in 2006. With Memorial, Moonspell also became the first Portuguese heavy metal band to have a record certified gold status. They are also very popular in Germany, where Memorial entered in 68th in the Top 100 Chart.
Irreligious came out in 1996 and was recorded again with producer Waldemar Sorychta. While previous album was considered black metal, this one fell into the genre of gothic metal. The song Opium became the first Moonspell single. It quoted one of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms, Álvaro de Campos, on his poem "Opiário" and its music video, featured the character of poet writing in a bar with the band playing. Along with the release of the album in a convent, the Convento do Beato, there were factors that helped the band selling 10.000 copies of the album in their homeland.
After conflicts with the band involving lawsuits, bass player Ares left the band and was replaced by Sérgio Crestana.
Sin/Pecado was followed in 1999 by The Butterfly Effect, recorded in London and produced by Andy Reilly. This album is considered to be very experimental in nature as well. Featuring "down-tuned guitar riffs, eerie synthesizer passages", the album was mainly composed by guitarist/keyboard player Pedro Paixão and was not very well received by metal critics.
Darkness and Hope was released in 2001 and was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, producer of Sentenced or HIM. The album reached 79th on German charts and special editions included covers of Madredeus, Ozzy Osbourne's Mr. Crowley and Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart. Nocturna was released as a single and music video.
In 2003, the band released The Antidote, with Niclas Etelävuori from Amorphis playing as a session musician on the bass guitar. The album was released with a book with the same title written by Portuguese writer José Luís Peixoto. Both the CD and book share the same concept and story and each song in the CD is sister to a chapter in the book that enhances the story in the lyrics. "Everything Invaded" was released as a single and music video. The band toured extensively around the world, playing at Rock in Rio Lisbon in 2004, a concert that brought them to more mainstream attention in Portugal. From this album on, the tours feature Aires Pereira on the bass.
In early 2004 the band recorded a cover of the jazz standard "I'll see you in my dreams" for the soundtrack of a Portuguese horror movie of the same name. There is an official music video of this song featuring footage from the film itself.
Although the album is heavier than the previous, it was very well received and its release was featured in various Portuguese news broadcasts. A new release of the album was released in December 2006 and featured a DVD with live performances and the music videos made for the album. Music videos for "Finisterra" and "Luna" were released.
The band is currently working on releasing a DVD entitled Lunar Still/13 Years of Doom, but is having some issues of a legal nature and has been forced to delay the release, originally expected in September 2005. It is expected to be released in 2007 by Century Media.
Recently, Moonspell released Under Satanæ, a re-recording of early songs.