Sound — 7
Moonspell formed in 1992, having all previously been known by their previous band, Morbid God. The released their first recorded music in 1992 as a promo track called "Serpent Angel." This, along with most of their early work would have been categorized as black metal, though since that time their sound has changed, more accurately described as gothic metal or doom metal. There were some lineup changes pretty early on in the '90s, followed by issues with keeping a constant bass player which has been solved since the last change in 2007 when Ahriman joined the band on bass. "Extinct" is the band's eleventh studio album, and contains 10 tracks with a runtime of 45 minutes.
The album opens with the track "Breathe (Until We Are No More)," which definitely has a gothic feel to it, with most of the lyrics very akin to Type O Negative, but also with some more extreme vocals provided throughout the track. The second track is the title track, "Extinct," which opens up with a doom-y riff and some keyboard, as well. Langsuyar has some interesting stuff going on vocally with this track. "Medusalem" has a weird intro that sounds vaguely middle-eastern, though it only lasts for a second, and then goes into some gothic metal riffing, though it revisits that middle-eastern melody throughout. "Domina" has actual clean sung lyrics for some of the track, but really is more of a hard rock song than any kind of metal song. "The Last of Us" has an almost slowed down punk rock thing going on with the guitars, with Langsuyar providing some almost punk-rock style vocals.
"Malignia" starts out with a keyboard melody but gets heavy pretty quickly. There is a quieter passage in the song, that helps create a gothic ambience. "Funeral Bloom" is more lyrically driven than most of the album. "A Dying Breed" is about how music is changing and not leaving room for some metal bands, or could also be interpreted that their type of people (Goths? Metalheads?) are going extinct in modern society. "The Future is Dark" has a very '80s feel to it, sounding like something by the Sisters of Mercy. The album closes out with "La Baphomette" which has very few lyrics, all of which are in Portugese. The song deals with the idea of the Baphomet, which was originally a goat idol, and also the modern symbol of Satanism. Musically it is one of the most interesting songs - not even remotely metal - and lyrically, one of the most sparse songs.
Lyrics — 7
Langsuyar provides vocals on the album, and he does with with a combination of screamed and extreme metal lyrics, with spoken word and clean vocals. It creates a good variety on the album. As a sample of the lyrics, here are some from "A Dying Breed": "Can't you see that the curtain has fallen between us? / And that the statues of leavers keep smashing on the burning foy/ A sense that is growing behind, the martyr's dying peek/ Our live has no meaning, the world forgot about me/ We're dying, we've fallen, we're calmly disappearing/ We're trying, defining, our sense of right and wrong/ It's a dying breed, it's a thing from the past/ We're a dying breed/ Can't you see that the magic is over, I see it ever started/ And how the music we listen keeps fading, she's lost control/ The new tribes they gather around the Earth's dying core/ The new waves are waving, no place for me anymore." Pretty interesting subject matter.
Overall Impression — 6
I don't know if our society shapes our taste in music to any extent, but some bands are more popular in some countries than in other. Moonspell has always been more popular in their home country, Portugal, as well as Germany than in most other countries. Listening to it as an American, it is okay, but it doesn't really grab me, either. I don't really have a favorite or least favorite song, but nothing was unlistenable on the album. The high point would probably by Langsuyar's vocals, which stayed well-executed and varied in style.