Epic, melodic, aggressive, powerful, energetic – introducing: Moonshade

Hailing from Portugal, the Moonshade project aspires to reshape the current musical zeitgeist by achieving a balance between the epic and the extreme that perfectly echoes the many battle cries of this generation. The band’s demo, ‘The Path Of Redemption‘, was released online in 2011, shortly followed by the ‘Dream | Oblivion‘ EP, their first physical release. This concept work was brought to the masses in shows that allowed Moonshade to share the stage with the likes of AmorphisHeaven Shall Burn, and Within Temptation, to name a few. In 2018, their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Sun Dethroned‘, was released via Art Gates Records, resulting in many sold-out shows across Portugal, some of which allowed them to share the stage with renowned outfits such as Omnium Gatherum and Decapitated. This ultimately culminated in an Iberian tour that took Moonshade to the four corners of the peninsula, throughout Portugal, Spain, and the Basque Country. In April 2022 Moonshade released their sophomore album and magnum opus ‘As We Set The Skies Ablaze‘ on July 2022, taking the band to brave new heights. Here’s our interview with the lead singer, Ricardo Pereira!


Our guitarist Pedro and I are the only remaining members from the initial formation. Basically, I saw an ad on Myspace – gods rest its soul – for a band that had only one instrumental song. I fell in love with his ideas, work ethic, and vision, and still am – purely platonic mind you, alas we’re both married. As for our bassist Nuno, he joined the band about seven years ago, originally as our great keyboard player, only to reach his true home as our genius bass player about two years later. As for Luís and Maia, our guitarist and drummer, they joined a couple of years ago at the same time. We already knew of their amazing work in Phase Transition, their progressive metal project, and as soon as their precursors left, we just knew Luís’ and Maia’s immeasurable talent were what Moonshade needed to reach its full potential.

Behind the name:

“Moonshade” has a double meaning. During a solar eclipse, the moon casts its shade over the entire world. Simultaneously, a “shade” is another word for wraith or ghost. So it can mean “solar eclipse” while evoking images of ghosts wandering in the moonlight. Whatever suits your fancy!


When we began, we were mostly inspired by the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene and we still are, to an extent. Nowadays, it’s mostly a mix of everything we listen to as individuals, and within the band names so distant as Nightwish, Rammstein, Lorna Shore, and Wintersun rub shoulders with even more diverse acts such as Nick Cave, Queen, Type O Negative, King Crimson, etc. I think that’s enough name-dropping for this whole year, you guys get it!

Personally, I wait until the instrumental part of a song is finished, then I wait to see what the song tells me, and just write it down. As for the rest of the band, inspiration is a very random thing – it can come from other songs, other art forms, life events, etc. So when a member has an idea, we talk about and work on it. If it clicks with everyone, it will become a song!


We write the songs together but each member focuses mainly on his instrument, although we do give ideas for each others’ compositions, as well as for song structures and everything else you can imagine. It’s a very democratic process that is only possible due to the fact that all of us are able to put our egos aside and try hard to be serious and down to earth.

So, our former bass player and the producer from our two studio albums plays bass in Dark Oath, which is one of the most promising European up-and-coming melodeath acts. Our guitarist and drummer have another progressive rock/metal project called Phase Transition, whose singer is Sofia Beco, that sang in one of our songs, called “The Antagonist”. Also, the fact that the band has a lot of science-related topics is because not only the aforementioned gentlemen have degrees in Physics Engineering, but I am currently finishing my PhD in Animal Science, so we are a band that’s closely connected with science and scientific research.

Fun Facts

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"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers." - Christopher Lee

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