1/6/2011 - Review by: Anthony Burke
Ancestral Romance is the eighth full-length album by the Spanish symphonic power metal band Dark Moor. Fans of the earlier albums and vocal styling of Elisa Martin (Sabatan, Fairyland, Dreamaker, Ebony Ark, Hamka) are in for a bit of a shock. However, long time fans of the group have become very familiar with what Alfred Romero brings to the table. Along with guest vocalist Berenice Musa (opera/choir), Dark Moor dove deeper in their symphonic sound than ever before, offering a history lesson about their native Spain in the process.
From the very beginning, I had wondered what I got myself into. Had the group finally sank after all these years--12 to be precise? Just when you thought hope was slipping away, the opener suddenly transitioned in to power driven forcefulness. The tracks Alaric De Marnac, Just Rock (even with the 80s arena rock feel) and Ah! Wretched Me stayed on pace with the power this album started with. It was the rest of the album that was lackluster at best. Even the ballads didn't fit this album, The Spanish speaking part and Spanish guitar in the song Mio Cid, although a very nice touch, couldn't save the song.
Fans of the power of Dark Moor might leave this one alone. However, if you like music that sometimes sounds as if it belongs on a drama stage, not a metal album, then you may enjoy this. I am in the first category, yet I don't think this is a terrible release. They simply tried too hard to tell a story and in doing so it became too elaborate and overdone. Simplicity is the key ingredient missing to make this another stellar release.
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