Portuguese metallers MOONSPELL will release their 13th studio album, "Hermitage", on February 26, 2021 via Napalm Records. The official music video for the disc's second single, "Common Prayers", can be seen below.
Directed by Guilherme Henriques and featuring actress, singer and performer Aurora Pinho, this clip was shot 90 meters below the surface at the amazing caves of Grutas de Mira d'Aire, one of Portugal's seven natural wonders. With a classy gothic and catchy feel, MOONSPELL flexes its best songwriting skills. The lyrical content is "perverse, almost religious" and deals with the 18th-century pregnancy surge amidst Portuguese nuns. Twentieth-century demolitions and excavations unearthed the bones of hundreds of children, revealing the sad fate of Jesus's sons and daughters.
Vocalist Fernando Ribeiro states: "Political? Religious? Who the fuck cares, really? Music is, for MOONSPELL, about self-expression, and we are old enough to pick our battles. 'Common Prayers' is the kind of song we love to write, sensual, different, with a to-die-for chorus.
"'Hermitage' is coming your way. You can run, but you cannot hide. Staying safe is staying smart. Say a prayer!"
While the world is struggling in the dark, MOONSPELL's forthcoming album was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jaime Gomez Arellano (PARADISE LOST, PRIMORDIAL, GHOST, SÓLSTAFIR) at the Orgone Studios in the U.K. Building upon the sensitive facets of "Hermitage", one can expect an entertaining and revolutionary, yet epic journey through the darkest days of human existence. Beautifully crafted songs such as "The Greater Good" show us the modernity of the wolves in 2021, while other tracks embrace the MOONSPELL tradition of writing a dark, gothic metal record like no other band can. The ethereal and melodic sounds of MOONSPELL, while not straying away from their metal roots — influenced by underground metal bands such as BATHORY — make "Hermitage" most likely one of the deepest, surprising and most epic albums MOONSPELL has ever written.
The first single from "Hermitage", the album opening track "The Greater Good", was released last month and can be streamed below.
Ribeiro previously stated about the song: "'The Greater Good' is a sociological concept implying the benefit of the public, of more people than oneself. To do which is better and more correct. Unfortunately, a lot of wrongdoing and pure evil actions were taken on behalf of this principle both by world leaders, and citizens. With a 'screenplay' designed by myself, and put together by director Guilherme Henriques (GAEREA, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, SCHAMMASCH) 'The Greater Good' strikes at the deep contrast of our priorities as human beings. The plot evidenciate the daily clash between the problems we could never or never wanted to solve; and our 'first world preoccupations.' The cult of the body versus the African famine; the killing of the innocent versus the second amendment; the beauty of monuments against the ugliness of violence.
"We are all responsible for the things we see here. For the greater good, for the greatest evil. It's not a question of race, gender, class or education. It's a question of conscience. It's vital we renew our communities' ties, our humanly behavior. Only we can save us from ourselves."
Like this first couple of appetizers showcase, with "Hermitage", MOONSPELL created a wonderfully intuitive and epic journey, but also a testament to what they've always loved the most: honest, emotional metal that binds us even in the darkest times.
Fernando said: "We know that we are entering the final years of our career as musicians: the winter of our lifetime. We don't care about people saying we're still young at heart, or 'leading' wolves in a pack. We are not! But we do care about how those around us feel about us, and this album is all about how we feel, our answers to your questions. Under these circumstances, we feel our musical stakes are higher than ever. For us, it's not about likes or algorithms, reach, or opportunity of growth. We only care about the music. Music does come first on this album you will hold in your hands soon enough."
He continued: "The record is about turning our backs to the conventions of modernity. We are currently convincing ourselves that it's all about us, that we (humanity) are everything. That the world revolves around us. However, ipsi facto, we are nothing and nothing revolves around us. Moonspell's goal, on these last turns around the Sun, are to write the best music we possibly can. To tell you a few stories with our lyrics, to be close to you in these times of distancing. We wish not to tease you or to influence you or to sell you our fish. We want to sit down with you at your table and feast together upon our notes and words. Like if we were close friends, like back in the time where music matters the most. In your bedroom listening to music, without having to post our smart remarks about it, inviting the hate in.
"'Hermitage' is an open-hearted invitation to simplicity. To be humble. To be thankful. To serve you solace. Provide you comfort, entertainment. We sincerely hope this call reaches you. That you kindly accept what we offer. That you take our music with you to the place you must feel as yours. To your secret place, to your hermitage. Blessed be."
"Hermitage" will be available in several highly limited and collectable deluxe editions, mediabook, cassette, all of them including the CANDLEMASS cover "Darkness In Paradise", but also as jewelcase and digital formats. The deluxe box will also include an etched seven-inch vinyl with another special bonus track, "The Great Leap Forward", as well as much more exciting additional collectable items.
"Hermitage" track listing:
01. The Greater Good
02. Common Prayers
03. All Or Nothing
07. The Hermit Saints
09. Without Rule
10. City Quitter (Outro)
+ Bonus tracks:
11. Darkness In Paradise (CANDLEMASS cover; available on LP, deluxe box, MC + mediabook)
12. The Great Leap Forward (7" vinyl; available in deluxe box)
Photo credit: Rui Vasco