Dark Moor – Ars Musica
Label: Scarlet Records
Reviewer: Rami Al-Jumaili - 2013-06-25
Highlights: The City of Peace , Saint James' Way, Living in a Nightmare (Orchestral Version)
Dark Moor is a Spanish band and one of the icons in the magical world of symphonic metal music, the band was formed in 1993 in Madrid, and they've released 9 full-length albums so far. Apparently "Dark Moor" are obsessed with classical music, the old masterpieces and symphonies and they are influenced by them in a very high level, they made some covers and took some tunes from some masters such as: Beethoven, Mozart and a lot of other neo – classical artists.
After three years of absence, "Dark Moor" brought us a new treat of symphonic melodies and no-classical magic, The album "Ars Musica" contains of 13 tracks including two bonus tracks, the album begins with "Ars Musica" an album titled intro, to pull you into their world of epic music and magic words, the intro can be described as a cinematic introduction, just like the fantasy movies, then the actual first song " First Lance of Spain" is a great start for such an album, a typical symphonic power track, the ones that you listen to and you already know its so good, after this comes " This is my Way" and I have to say that I really love that shredding guitar intro, its just made the songs so promising with the progressive touch and the back vocals to make it a good piece.
Then the fantasy journey continues with " The Road Again", a slow tempo track , with a magnificent backing vocals, an epic touch that the band do it very well, the same goes for "Together as Ever" but I liked the vocals more in this track than the previous one, there are much more efforts with vocals and the solo is fantastic, its just like a classical guitar solo with long shredding. After these two tracks the power tempo gets faster in "The City of Peace", a typical symphonic power metal track, the ones with the minor keyboard tunes besides the fantastic guitar solo to make it a fine symphonic song.
After that the album slows down with "Gara and Jonay", a romantic song about a rich girl "Gara" who falls in love with the poor guy "Jonay", the song is a classical song, just like the old romantic songs but in the form of power metal, a fine choice by the band but I guess not all the fans would like it, and then a special potion for the thirsty fans, "Living in a Nightmare" has a really great performance, the song that got my attention after I got bored from the previous couple songs, a really symphonic power song, fast guitar riffs and orchestral melodies, to put us in the mood of symphonies again, add to that a great tapping & shredding solos, a brilliant track indeed.
And then it slows again, " El ultimo rey" is a full Spanish song that didn’t attract me at all, a song that I think that it doesn't suit the band so much, next "Saint James' Way", a nice song and nice vocals techniques and keyboard melodies, pretty much like "Gara and Jonay". But this next song "Spanish Suite (Asturias)" is an instrumental track that reminds me with the beginnings and the old albums of "Dark Moor", a track that shows how talented the band is in the cinematic epic symphonic music, followed next by "The Road Again (Acoustic Version)", a really good composed version of the original track, really great and smooth. And finally the albums finishes with "Living in a Nightmare (Orchestral Version)", an orchestral meal for the thirsty ears, classic touches and modern techniques to make it perfectly enough for the fans .
"Ars Musica" is a bit disappointing album comparing to the old albums, the band must focus more on the fast power tempo In their music, but on the other hand, they did a huge and great effort on the symphonic side, I think "Dark Moor" like to do it their own way, yet the album remains a good symphonic music album .