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Moonspell: The Dark Side Of The Sun

Both on a geographical and musical landscape, Moonspell are a band between two worlds. Subterranea travels to their native Lisbon to discover why it’s proven such fertile territory.

“This is the birthplace of globalisation,” Moonspell bassist Aires Pereira quips. Aires is pointing at a monument on the estuary of the Tagus River as the Portuguese quintet guide Subterranea around their hometown of Lisbon. Two columns mark the great Portuguese explorers who, 500 years ago, set sail to discover the New World.

It’s a tongue-in-cheek comment – and an ironic one, given the bandmember making the joke is originally from Venezuela, and plays in a Portuguese band whose drummer spent the early part of his life in Massachusetts – but it highlights a few things that have gone into making Moonspell the band they are. Portugal may now be thought of as a sunny holiday destination, a place to enjoy sangria and seafood, but once it was both the edge of the known world and one of the great imperial, colonial powers of its age. No longer. A microcosm of more recent history is happening just behind us as Aires notes.

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