4/14/2004 - Review by: Frank Hill
One of the better symphonic power metal bandsAfter the release of (or just prior to) the highly orchestrated Dark Moor EP 'Between Light and Darkness', female vocalist Elisa C. Martin, in 2003) Albert Maroto (guitar) and Jorge Sáez (drums) decided to persue their own interests and left to form their own band, Dreamaker. Dark Moor continued on by recruiting new vocalist Alfred Romero. Instead of a female lead, they now have the traditional male power metal vocalist.
Along with their great sound, Elisa was a big selling point for me, so I was hoping that Alfred would be a decent replacement. He is high-pitched like most in the genre and is as emotive as Elisa, but I don't think his tone cuts to the bone like hers does. Although less of a stong presence, his vocals do blend in well with the overall sound of the music.
'Dark Moor' isn't any heavier than prior releases, but I found it more orchestral with many of the numbers giving off the compositional quality of an 1800's Mozart or Bizet piece; maybe even The Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Lyrically they seem to be covering some darker subject matter with most of it about historical figures like Phillip the II, Attila the Hun and others.
Missing are the more acoustical, romantic numbers that I enjoyed from the first half of 'BLAD', but they do keep an epic scope to most of the songwriting especially for the tour de force final track "The Dark Moor" with its mutiple, overlapping vocals. Songs that should be more meanacing, though sound a bit too glorious.
Dark Moor lost a lot of members, but they didn't lose any significant part of their sound. All in all they are still one of the better symphonic power metal bands out there, but I missed the laments of Elisa.
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