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Dark Moor - Tarot 4/5

Reviewed: 4-27-07


1. The magician
2. The chariot
3. The star
4. Wheel of fortune
5. The emperor
6. Devil in the tower
7. Death
8. Lovers
9. The hanged man
10. The moon
11. The fool (bonus track)

Spain's Dark Moor has done well to establish themselves as one of the more competitive bands in the power metal genre. For the most part, I think all of their CDs thus far have been at least good, if not fantastic. While some power metal fans often criticized the band's first vocalist, Elisa Martin (who is currently in Hamka and Dreamaker), I thought she did a fine job and fit the band's style. Still, I wasn't disappointed when I learned that she had been replaced prior to the band's 2003 's/t' CD, as her replacement, Alfred Romero, also fits the style of Dark Moor and I've always felt he doesn't sound too different from Elisa.

'Tarot' is the band's 3rd CD with Alfred and I must say that this is definitely his best performance to date, but I don't consider him to be one of the better vocalists in the genre. His clear vocals flow very well with the band's professional sound though, and I certainly don't have any complaints. Musically, the CD is in line with the band's previous CDs; symphonic power metal containing both fast and bouncy/catchy rhythms, is quite melodic, and really oozes talent. Comparable to Fairyland, Thy Majestie, Rhapsody, Nightwish, Hamka, Wildpath, and even Kamelot, the CD is right down my alley and if you're into any of these bands but haven't gotten into Dark Moor yet, doing so is a must.

'Tarot' has a tremendous start, as the first 5 tracks offer up power, melody, choirs, symphonic/orchestral parts, epic moments, and some of their best guitar work to date. Honestly, I don't know how anyone who likes this style of music could not enjoy these songs, especially the fun track 4 "Wheel of fortune" and the fast track 5 "The emperor". While the remainder of the CD is also strong, I seem to be much more into the first half, as, simply put, the songs are just better. The 2nd half is only a minor step down in quality, but it is something I have noticed, and I'd be curious to learn if there are others who feel the same. Special mention must be made of the final track 10 "The moon" (excluding the bonus track "The fool"), which contains the band's own version of some of Beethoven's material, all extremely well done.

So we end up with the band's best CD since Alfred joined them, slightly edging out their 's/t' CD and definitely 'Beyond the sea'. My favorite CD remains 'The hall of the olden dreams' from 2000 though (even with Elisa as the vocalist), as that CD greatly impressed me when it first came out and I still spin it on a regular basis. 'Tarot' is highly recommended to symphonic power metal lovers though, and this is a band that will surely provide us with many more CDs in the future. Their talent is among the best, and it would take something major to stop them in their tracks.




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