DARK MOOR – Dark Moor

DARK MOOR - Dark Moor


Release date: November 24, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

This would be, let me think, Spanish Dark Moor’s fourth full length CD, not counting the EPs that has served to kill time between the releases. Not that the band is slow and needs to kill time, but like Angra, a band that Dark Moor likes to compare themselves to, they realise that an EP in between CD releases is a good way to keep the paella warm. Dark Moor is still, without doubt, the best heavy metal band to come out of Spain – the home of elderly Scandinavians. (Some of you might remember that I praised Nexx some time ago, and I still do, but they are not metal.) First of all, unlike the whole lot down there, Dark Moor, or more so their singer, dares to sing in English. Secondly, they are a real live band. I had the pleasure to see Dark Moor on home turf a year and a half ago, and they stripped down the orchestra parts a bit and crushed as a twin guitar attack. Ok, I always said the records are very Rhapsody-like, but in a live situation, yup, my mind came closer to accept that they – of course – like to compare themselves to the mighty Angra.

Most obviously, this CD marks singer Elisa’s exit. She has by now released an album with her new band, Fairyland. Enter Alfred Romeo, the change is by no means radical. Yes, the smart reader would notice that we are talking about a changeover from a female singer to a male one (while Stratovarius seem to go in the opposite direction.) By no means radical, means; I am not sure if I would bend over to tie my shoelaces while in the same room as Alfred. (No offence, I am Andre Matos’ and Michael Sweet’s biggest fan as well, and never got any proposals.) He sings much in the same vein as Elisa, maybe because the music was composed for her, I am not sure. Anyway, Dark Moor has found the right person for the job, and I am sure they will be able to present their full back catalogue in a successful way with Alfred center stage. (By the way, with this singer, there might be room for the others on stage as well…)

As for the record (finally getting to the point here), the band is on the same path as before. The music can be described as a little darker and slightly more mid-tempo, I would dare to say, but old fans sure get their fill. The melody structures are not at all brand new, the keyboards are used in the same style, and of course, if you can’t get enough of double bass drums, this is a safe buy. But Dark Moor has slowly developed their own thing within this genre, with so many other bands trying to break, much due to the melody structures that I find very typical “Dark Moorish”, and though I feared that the departure of Elisa would make them sound more like “the others”, I am happy to report “Crisis, what crisis?”

Though Dark Moor has released a fine record, it is not their best to date, in my always very humble opinion. The two previous ones, The Hall Of The Olden Dreams and The Gates Of Oblivion, are slightly stronger, this time the material is a little more hit and miss. The misses are a few songs that not at all stick to my old brain, but the hits on the other hand, are strong as ever. “The Bane Of Daninsky, The Werewolf” is such a hit, the single “From Hell” another, while the piece named “Attila”, which has 5 tracks, sure has its moments. The “Overture” is great, “Wind like Stroke” and “The Ghost Sword” likewise. (Hey Luca, here are two words you didn’t combine yet!) The CD ends with “The Dark Moor”, a good 8 minute long epic with guest soprano Beatriz Albert (yeah, there are female hormones flowing here after all!)
To conclude: A great album that the fans will be happy about, though not as great as the two previous ones. The new singer is a good replacement, but here and there his singing doesn’t quite sound like himself. Give the dude more power next time, keep up the great songwriting and skillful playing, and Dark Moor’s all time high is within reach.


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