The band's initial formation took place in 1989 at Brandoa, Portugal under the name of Morbid God and the membership of Tetragrammation, Langsuyar, Mantus and Baalberith. After bringing Fenrir into the fold, their first effort would be their 1992 promo pack entitled Serpent Angel. After expelling their drummer Baalberith, the act would change its name to Moonspell ('Feitiço da Lua' in Portuguese) with Nirich (ex-Decayed) taking over the drum duties. Their Serpent Angel promo track was then included on the first Portuguese heavy metal compilation LP called The Birth Of A Tragedy. Their style now evolving to mix straight up Black metal with doom and Goth.
Fenrir changeshis stage name to Malah, and their debut demo, Anno Satanae, would follow soon after featuring 3 tracks of Black Metal: Goat On Fire, Anciente Winter Good and Wolves From The Fog. The track Goat on Fire would soon after be included on another Portuguese compilation called Mortuary Vol.1, and at the same time, the Greek record company 'Molon Lave' would publish a special 7" vinyl with Goat on Fire and Wolves From Fog featured within.
Their first recording proper would be the mini-CD Under The Moonspell (1994) through 'Adipocere Records'. Now their live act had evolved into theatrical live appearances to give a new dimension to their live apparatus, and Under The Moonspell was an enormous success in Europe being the record with the most sales on 'Adipocere Records' (more than 5000).
It would be here that keyboard player, Neophytus (now Passionis) and a new guitar player, Tanngrisnir, instead of Malah join the fold. Response to the mini-CD was so overwhelming that 'Century Media' was prompted to sign the act to a six CD contract. In the beginning of 1995, the band entered Woodhouse Studios and emerged in 10 days with Wolfheart, their first full and proper album and an album that covered a surprising amount of musical ground within the span of its eight songs.
At this stage, Moonspell toured across Europe, with a dozen solo concerts and 39 more with big named Death act Morbid Angel. It was at some point over this tour that guitarist Tanngrisnir was kicked out and replaced by a former element of Paranormal Waltz, Ricardo Amorim.
Meanwhile, Moonspell recorded their first video to support Irreligious for the track Opium. The video for Opium was shot in Lisbon, on the 15th of June at a coffee-house/library ambiance. The topic of the music video explored the effects of Opium as a literary inspiration (and not an explicit support to drug consumption), and includes traces of Portuguese author Fernando Pessoa.
1996's Irreligious featured Gothic ambient music instead of just traditional Black Metal elements. This direction would be more fully explored on their follow-up album of Sin/Pecado (1998). Moonspell returned in 1999 with Butterfly Effect, Darkness and Hope (2001), Everything Invaded (2003), The Antidote (2003) and the cumulative remake CD Under Satanae (2007) featuring both new and re-recorded tracks from past albums in an effort to re-launch the band on the new label 'SPV' featuring the members (using their real names): vocalist Fernando Ribeiro, guitarist Ricardo Amorim, keyboardist/programmer Pedro Paixão, bassist Sérgio Crestana, and drummer Mike Gaspar. 2007 also saw the release of The Great Silver Eye, a best-of album.
It was Memorial in 2006, their first for 'SPV Steamhammer', that made them big by topping the Portuguese album chart on its first week and also breaking into the German Top 100 at number 68. It further achieved gold status in Portugal after selling 10,000 copies, making Moonspell the first Portuguese metal band of their style to do that.
In July 2010 the Portuguese Postal Service would release "a collection of stamps that represent the most significant rock moments and records from Portugal," which included Moonspell's first album, Wolfheart.
In 2011 the act signed with 'Napalm Records' to release Alpha Noir the following year, and Extinct in 2015.