Dark Moor - The hall of the olden dreams 4/5

Reviewed: 4-1-05





Tracklist:

1. The ceremony
2. Somewhere in dreams
3. Maid of orleans
4. Bells of Notre Dame
5. Silver lake
6. Mortal sin
7. The sound of the blade
8. Beyond the fire
9. Quest for the eternal fame
10. Hand in hand


Dark Moorís debut, 'Shadowland', showed good potential but was plagued with mediocre production and inconsistent songwriting. This, the bandís second CD, is excellent, featuring great production and very good songwriting and performance. The best comparison for this band would be fellow Italians Rhapsody. Dark Moor features mostly fast, symphonic, melodic metal. Unlike Rhapsody, however, they don't take this to the extreme. While Rhapsody tends to sound almost unbelievable at times, just when you think Dark Moor is going to go over the top with some outlandish melody, they pull it back. For this reason, I think of Dark Moor as a combination of Rhapsody's epic, symphonic style and Labyrinth's more laid back, elegant melodies.

After the short opening, every song is a fast, double-bass scorcher with very strong melodies. The exception is the very nice ballad, "The sound of the blade". The songwriting is of very high quality throughout and hits a peak with "Quest for the eternal fame". There are many other top quality tracks however, including "Bells of Notre Dame", "Silver lake" and "Beyond the fire". The musicianship is very good, although the bass and drums could have been moved up just a little in the mix to give the CD a heavier sound. Female vocalist Elisa is effective, sounding like a combination of Rhapsody's Fabio Lione and former Angra vocalist Andre Matos, combining their epic and emotional sounds.

This is a very impressive CD. The band has taken the potential from the debut and translated it into a great CD. Dark Moor has 2 high quality songwriters and an excellent singer. It is not surprising that this is just the first of many excellent CDs for the band despite some future personnel changes.



DAVID




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