'The Antidote' - Moonspell (5/10)
Moonspell aren't going to make the music you would find typical of progressive metal. Alot of their stuff is alot more doomy and down-tempo than most, and while there is a bit of a forward-thinking attitude to them, you won't find the sort of stuff played here that the more adventurous bands play. In any case however, Moonspell is a talented band, and they show it through some very solid songwriting and thoughtful arrangements. While alot of this album is pretty dry and has a fair share of flaws, an above-average sense of songwriting ties the album together and makes it whole. There a a large dose of gothic flair here, thrown onto a death metal pallette. The singer constantly switches between a skilled growl and a basso profundo that can get extremely dry at times but after a few listens, it really dawns that this isn't the sort of metal that would benefit from having four-octave wails.
The title track is arguably the strongest track here, although alot of the songs are memorable in their own right. 'In & Above Man' segues seamlessly into the dark almost jungle-sounding percussive intro of 'From Lowering Skies.' 'Capricorn At Her Feet' has one of the most beautiful guitar solo segments you could possibly find on this album, although the rest of the song isn't quite up to par. 'Lunar Still' takes quite a while to get going but it's a dreamy segment that can be wholly enjoyable if you're in the mood for it. The final track, 'As We Eternally Sleep On It' is one of the tightest compositions, and something that doesn't adhere to songwriting convention. It builds up slowly- much like post-rock - and it leads into atmospheric guitar work that caps off the album.
'The Antidote' is tightly composed and produced, but it doesn't seem to really catch my attention in the way a really great album would. There are parts that are amazing, but it seems these are spread like too little butter over too much toast. A good album, but with not enough layering or ambition to make for a truly inspiring journey.