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Moonspell performing in 2007
Moonspell performing in 2007
Background information
OriginBrandoa, Amadora, Portugal
Years active1992–present
MembersFernando Ribeiro
Pedro Paixão
Ricardo Amorim
Aires Pereira
Hugo Ribeiro
Past membersMiguel Gaspar
João Pedro Escoval
Duarte Picoto
Luís Lamelas
João Pereira
Sérgio Crestana

Moonspell is a Portuguese gothic metal band formed in 1992. The group released their first EP, Under the Moonspell, in 1994 and followed up with their debut album, Wolfheart, a year later. They quickly became the most recognizable metal band from Portugal[1] and a key figure in gothic metal. Fernando Ribeiro is co-founder, singer and songwriter of the band.

Moonspell achieved success in Portugal with their 1998 album Sin/Pecado.[2] With Memorial (2006), the group also became the first Portuguese metal band to have a record certified Gold.[3] They are also popular in Germany, where their albums consistently enter the Top 100 Chart.[2]


Early days (1992–1994)[edit]

Although they had been playing since 1989 under the name of "Morbid God",[4] the band became Moonspell in 1992, shortly after they released the promo track "Serpent Angel". At the time of the name change, the band's line-up was Fernando Ribeiro (Langsuyar) on vocals, João Pedro "Ares" Escoval (Tetragrammaton) on bass, Duarte Picoto (Mantus) and Luís Lamelas (Malah) on the guitars, and Miguel "Mike" Gaspar (Nisroth) on the drums. Ribeiro and Ares were the founders and masterminds of Morbid God / Moonspell, while the latter members joined Morbid God at different points in 1992. Of them, only Mike Gaspar joined after the recording of "Serpent Angel".

On 24 February 1993, the band released their demo Anno Satanæ, which contained three songs accompanied by an intro and an outro. In September, Pedro Paixão joined the band to play keyboards. On 6 November 1993, Moonspell performed their first show in Charneca, Lisbon. Shortly after, Lamelas was fired and replaced by João Pereira (Tanngrisnir). The demo circulated around the black metal scene and eventually attracted the interest of independent label Adipocere Records, which signed the band for a mini-album.

On 27 April 1994, Moonspell released the mini-album Under the Moonspell and toured around Portugal to promote it and try to jump to a bigger label. After the release of mini-album Under the Moonspell, Moonspell signed with Century Media Records for six albums.

Breakthrough (1995–1997)[edit]

Wolfheart was recorded in Germany with producer Waldemar Sorychta and was released on 1 April 1995. By June, João Pereira was struggling with the band's breakthrough and his daytime job, and was replaced by Ricardo Amorim, who was asked to join the band on 13 June. Shortly before, Ricardo had been approached by the band to possibly replace João on some shows, but that came to nothing as João was given a second chance.

In July, Moonspell performed three shows in the United Kingdom, their first ones outside Portugal, and in September, the band embarked on a European tour, supporting Morbid Angel. Duarte Picoto told the band he couldn't go on the European tour as he was having personal issues of his own, but they went on anyway, as they felt it was too big of an opportunity to throw away, and played as a five-piece. Ricardo, who had joined the band after Wolfheart's release, was then the sole guitarist playing live. Duarte's status in the band was on hold during the tour, as the band was initially reluctant about firing him due to his perceived importance on songwriting, but after it, the band felt comfortable as a five-piece and Duarte ended up not being reinstated.

For 1996's Irreligious, the band again recorded with producer Waldemar Sorychta. While the 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 the 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 sell 10,000 copies of the album in their homeland.[1]

On 7 February 1997, after serious artistic and personal conflicts with the rest of the band, bass player Ares was fired and was replaced by Sérgio Crestana. There were several lawsuits between Ares and Moonspell which were solved in 2004[citation needed].

Experimenting (1998–2000)[edit]

Sin/Pecado ("Without/Sin"; Pecado means "sin" in Portuguese) was released in 1998. It had a bigger experimental nature than its predecessors. The song "2econd Skin" was released as a single. At the time they released the one and only Dæmonarch album, Hermeticum. Dæmonarch was a side project composed by all Moonspell members except drummer Mike Gaspar. The album was seen as a return to their black metal roots and its lyrics were all written by singer Fernando Ribeiro between the age of 14 and 16.

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",[5] the album was mainly composed by guitarist/keyboard player Pedro Paixão and was not very well received by metal critics.[6]

Darkness and Hope and The Antidote (2001–2005)[edit]

Fernando Ribeiro during a live show in Spain in 2006

Darkness and Hope was released in 2001 and was produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa, producer of Sentenced and HIM. The album reached 79th on German charts[1] 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, as Sérgio Crestana left the band earlier that year. 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. After the album's recording, Moonspell hired Aires Pereira as a touring bass player. 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.

During 2003 the band recorded a cover of the jazz standard "I'll See You in My Dreams" for the soundtrack of the Portuguese short zombie horror film of the same name. There is an official music video which was filmed in one day during the production of the short and under a €2,000 budget.[7] The song was also issued as a single in 2004, featuring the full and edited versions.

Memorial, Under Satanæ and Night Eternal (2006–2009)[edit]

Memorial was released in 2006. Recorded with the producer of their first three albums Waldemar Sorychta, who also recorded the bass guitar parts, it was the first to be released under their new label SPV Steamhammer. The album topped the Portuguese album chart on its first week and also broke into the German Top 100 at number 68.[2] Memorial achieved gold status in Portugal after selling 10,000 copies, making Moonspell the first Portuguese doom metal band to achieve that.[3]

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 then worked on releasing a DVD originally entitled Lunar Still/13 Years of Doom, but had some issues of a legal nature and was forced to delay the release, originally expected in September 2005. It was pushed later to 9 December 2008 with a new title: Lusitanian Metal.[8][9]

On 2 November 2006, Moonspell won an MTV Europe Music Award in the category of Best Portuguese Act.

The Great Silver Eye, a best-of album, was released on 26 June 2007.

In 2007, Moonspell released Under Satanæ, a re-recording of early songs.

Night Eternal was released on 16 May 2008, again with Niclas Etelävuori on bass. The lead single off the album, Scorpion Flower, features Dutch singer Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering, now Agua De Annique).

Moonspell performed the "Blackest of the Black" tour with Danzig, Winds of Plague, Dimmu Borgir and Skeletonwitch.[10]

Moonspell toured Europe with Cradle of Filth, Gorgoroth, Septicflesh and Asrai ("The Darkest Tour: Filthfest") in December 2008, and took part in a European tour with Cradle of Filth and Turisas, dubbed the "Darkest Tour:Filthfest 2", in April and May 2009.[11]

In July 2010 it was reported that the Portuguese Postal Service would release "a collection of stamps that represent the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal," which included Moonspell's first album, Wolfheart.[12]

Alpha Noir and Omega White, Extinct, 1755, and Hermitage (2010–present)[edit]

Moonspell at Kavarna Rock Fest 2011

In July 2010, vocalist Fernando Ribeiro revealed the band was working on a new album, which he described as "the most exciting, sexiest, darkest, heaviest and catchiest stuff we've written in ages!".[12] In December 2011 Moonspell signed with Napalm Records, and Ribeiro released the following statement:

"Signing with Napalm is a firm step into cutting all bullshit and work with people who truly believe in us and respect our longevity, while helping us to embrace those who have been arriving in the last years to start with us yet another kingdom of darkness under the moon. Our new album is a statement. Our blood is the ink. Your skin, the scrolls upon we will write. Napalm Records, our messenger. Be ready."[13]

Around the same time, Aires Pereira was admitted as a full member of the band, after playing live with them for eight years.

In January 2012, Moonspell revealed the title of the new album to be Alpha Noir, with a release date of 27 April 2012 and a special edition set to include the album's "musical twin", Omega White.[14] The band's press release cited Bathory, King Diamond, Onslaught, early Metallica, Testament, and Artillery as influences for Alpha Noir, which was described as "an incendiary album".[14] Omega White was instead described as an album of "pure atmosphere and shadow", an homage to Type O Negative and The Sisters of Mercy and similar to Moonspell's second album Irreligious.[14] Alpha Noir and Omega White were both produced and mixed by Tue Madsen, who had previously worked on the band's Under Satanæ and Night Eternal records.[14]

In 2015, Moonspell released a new album titled Extinct. This album continued Moonspell's trend into darker and more gothic music.

On 3 November 2017, they released a concept album named 1755. It detailed the story of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, and was sung entirely in Portuguese, apart from some choirs in Latin.[15]

On 3 July 2020, Moonspell announced that Mike Gaspar, the original drummer, had left the band, and that he would be replaced by Hugo Ribeiro.[16]

On 26 February 2021, Moonspell released a new album called Hermitage.

Band members[edit]

Current members
Former members
  • Miguel Gaspar (Mike/Nisroth) – drums (1992–2020)
  • João Pedro Escoval (Ares/Tetragrammaton) – bass (1992–1997)
  • Duarte Picoto (Mantus) – guitars (1992–1995)
  • Luís Lamelas (Malah/Fenrir) – guitars (1992–1993)
  • João Pereira (Tanngrisnir) – guitars, backing vocals (1993–1995)
  • Sérgio Crestana – bass (1997–2003)



Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
  • Released: 1 April 1995
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
  • Released: 29 July 1996
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
50 55 30 93
  • Released: 20 January 1998
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1 42 18 25
The Butterfly Effect
  • Released: 13 September 1999
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
Darkness and Hope
  • Released: 18 September 2001
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1 43 99 21
The Antidote
  • Released: 29 September 2003
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
4 75 125
  • Released: 25 April 2006
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1 68 181
Night Eternal
  • Released: 16 May 2008
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
3 62 144
Alpha Noir/Omega White
  • Released: 27 April 2012
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
2 37 108 37 83 44 186
  • Released: 6 March 2015[28]
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1 39 178 42 87 54 56
  • Released: 3 November 2017[30]
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
11 72 159 63 89
  • Released: 26 February 2021
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download
1 19 33 60
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live albums[edit]

Title Album details
Lusitanian Metal
  • Released: 8 December 2008
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: CD
Lisboa Under the Spell
  • Released: 17 August 2018[32]
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: 3CD, DVD, Blu-Ray, Vinyl 3LP
From Down Below
  • Released: 30 September 2022
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: 4CD, 2DVD, Blu-Ray, Vinyl 2LP


Title Album details Peak chart positions
Sin/Pecado + Irreligious
  • Released: 2000
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: 2CD
Wolfheart/The Butterfly Effect
  • Released: 2001
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: 2CD
The Great Silver Eye
  • Released: 29 June 2007
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
Under Satanæ
  • Released: 12 October 2007
  • Label: Steamhammer Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Title Album details
Under the Moonspell
  • Released: 27 April 1994
  • Label: Adipocere Records
  • Formats: CD, Vinyl.
2econd Skin
  • Released: 29 October 1997
  • Label: Century Media Records
  • Formats: CD, 2CD

Video albums[edit]

Title Video details
Lusitanian Metal
  • Released: 8 December 2008
  • Label: Century Media
  • Formats: DVD
Lisboa Under the Spell
  • Released: 17 August 2018
  • Label: Napalm Records
  • Formats: DVD, Blu-ray


Title Demo details
Anno Satanæ
  • Released: 24 February 1993
  • Label: Self-released
  • Formats: CS

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Directed Album
1996 "Opium"
1998 "2econd Skin"
Sin / Pecado
1999 "Butterfly FX" Andreas Marschall[33] The Butterfly Effect
2001 "Nocturna" Tiago Guedes Darkness and Hope
2003 "Everything Invaded" Tiago Guedes, Frederico Serra The Antidote
2004 "I'll See You in My Dreams" Filipe Melo I'll See You in My Dreams (soundtrack)
2006 "Finisterra" Ivan Čolić, Josip Čolić Memorial
"Luna" Miguel Braga, Edgar Martins, Sérgio Martins[citation needed]
2008 "Scorpion Flower" Ivan Čolić Night Eternal
"Night Eternal"
2012 "Lickanthrope" Felipe Melo Alpha Noir/Omega White
"White Skies" Victor Castro
2015 "Extinct" Extinct
2015 "Domina"
2017 "In Tremor Dei"[34] Miguel Braga 1755
2017 "Todos os Santos" Paulo F. Mendes (Editor)
2020 "The Greater Good" Guilherme Henriques Hermitage
"Common Prayers"
2021 "All or Nothing"
"The Hermit Saints"


  1. ^ a b c "Moonspell Biography". Archived from the original on 15 October 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "3 May 2006 – Moonspell breaks into the charts and live news". Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  3. ^ a b "Moonspell: Memorial certified gold in Portugal". 16 January 2007. Archived from the original on 21 January 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  4. ^ "Moonspell's Biography". Archived from the original on 24 February 2001. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  5. ^ "Butterfly Effect – Overview". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  6. ^ "Moonspell – The Butterfly Effect". Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  7. ^ "Moonspell Video". O Pato Profissional Produções Lda. Archived from the original on 6 November 2011. Retrieved 9 February 2011.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Moonspell named 'Best Portuguese Act' at MTV's Europe Music Awards". 2 November 2006. Archived from the original on 10 March 2007. Retrieved 18 November 2006.
  10. ^[permanent dead link]
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  12. ^ a b "Moonspell gets its own stamp". 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2010.
  13. ^ "Moonspell signs with Napalm Records". 20 December 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d "Moonspell: new album title, other details revealed". January 18, 2012. Archived from the original on January 21, 2012. Retrieved January 19, 2012.
  15. ^ Jendryščík, Ľuboš (8 January 2018). "Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell) – "The earthquake is ultra symbolic…"". Metalmania-Magazín. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  16. ^ Kai, Thomas (26 August 2020). "Fernando Ribeiro (Moonspell) – ,,The idea behind it was also to cater for the big Moonspell community around the world". Metalmania-Magazín. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
  17. ^ a b "Moonspell Portuguese Albums Chart". Retrieved 15 October 2023.
  18. ^ "Discographie von Moonspell". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  19. ^ "Moonspell French Albums Chart". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  20. ^ "Moonspell Finnish Albums Chart". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  21. ^ "Moonspell Dutch Albums Chart". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  22. ^ "Moonspell Austrian Albums Chart". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  23. ^ "Moonspell Belgian Albums Chart". Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  24. ^ "Sludge Scans For June 2000". Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  25. ^ a b "MOONSPELL: 'Memorial' Certified Gold In Portugal". Archived from the original on 21 January 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  26. ^ "MOONSPELL Frontman: We Are No Satanists". 23 June 2008. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  27. ^ "Metal By Numbers 5/16: Taking The Charts by Storm". 16 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
    "Metal By Numbers 5/23: Tenacious D Rize To The Top 5". 23 May 2012. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  28. ^ "Recording new album". Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  29. ^ "MOONSPELL In Pre-Production For '1755' Portuguese-Language Album About Great Lisbon Earthquake". 8 March 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2020.
  30. ^ "MOONSPELL To Release '1755' Album In November". 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  31. ^[user-generated source]
  32. ^ "MOONSPELL To Release 'Lisboa Under The Spell' In August". 7 June 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  33. ^ "MOONSPELL – The Butterfly Effect (Reaction Video) | Napalm Records". YouTube.
  34. ^ "MOONSPELL – Official Video For "In Tremor Dei" Released". Retrieved 5 October 2020.

External links[edit]