SOUNDS FROM APOCALYPSE - Portuguese Metal


MOONSPELL

The most known portuguese band. They started as a black metal act but including old folk national influences. After the very successful demo "Anno Satanae" in 1993, that lead to the contract with the french label Adipocere and the release of the first work, the miniCD "Under the Moonspell", soon Century Media got them. The superb "Wolfheart" was released in 1995 (One of my all-time favorites) and, together with several concerts and tours, granted Moonspell a large legion of fans. The music can be considered symphonic death, but including old folk, traditional and doom metal. "Irreligious" (1996) is less heavier and more experimental, acceptabe by old fans but opened the doors to the non-metal fans. With "Sin/Pecado" they started to strongly mix non-metal influences and loosing old fans (I think I heard the album only a couple of times). Then, in 1999 came "The Butterfly Effect", plenty of american pseudo-metal, where no traces of old Moonspell are present (first I didn't buy). In 2001, Moonspell released "Darkness and Hope", that mixed some Irreligious type songs with some pseudo-metal, anyway better than the last two.

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TARANTULA

The portuguese veteran metalers. They started a long time ago, around early eighties, but only in 1987 they had the first vinyl released. Among these years, they got a local loyal crowd. The style is, and always have been, pure heavy metal. In 1999, it was the big jump to the world, after signing a contract with AFM Records and the release of "Light Beyond the Dark" and now "Dream Maker". These albums got some good reviews and several fans outside this small country.

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THE FIRSTBORN

This band started in 1995, under the name FIRSTBORN EVIL and inicially they were playing Black Metal, as many other portuguese bands. Due to their quality, they emerged from the others and in 1998, the first album "Rebirth of Evil" saw the light. With some lacks, it is not bad at all. Meanwhile, together with several line-up changes they developed a less black and more epic sound, but always aggressive, and stopped the face paintures. In 2000 they released the excellent "From the Past Yet to Come", very dark, epic and well produced, becoming one of the best portuguese albums ever. (see New Reviews).

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ORATORY

Oratory started in the early nineties and experienced several metal styles, namely gothic. With a competent line-up and both a male and female vocals, they got some importance in the national underground. Then, Helloween's "The Time of the Oath" changed the band's way and they adopted power metal. The first work, an EP called "Last Profecies" was released in 1999 and is still a mixture between gothic and power. In 2000, they got a contact with AFM and the first album was released and it's pure melodic metal where the female vocal adds a very interesting atmosphere.

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SIRIUS

The SiriuS project started in 1994 as a one-man project, but only late 1998, after the constitution of the line-up, they recorded and distributed the first demo tape, very well received. A contract with the norwegian label Nocturnal Art soon came, and in 2000 we've got the first impressive album (see Old Reviews).

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