|Review: Black Moor - The Conquering|
Label: Diminished Fifth Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: September 14, 2009
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (9 Votes)
Black Moor is a relatively new band hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada which presents this debut following their 2006 demo. In a nutshell, these guys are pretty old school and worship early Iron Maiden – think the first two albums, when the band was at its rawest and riding the NWOBHM wave. Throw in a bit of a doomy attitude, and you've got Black Moor. The vocalist reminds me a lot of the vocalist from Goat Horn (now Cauldron), though there are times when he sounds more like a variant of James Hetfield (with his "newer" style, as opposed to his 80s style). He's pretty decent overall, but the vocal melodies vary quite a bit – sometimes very cool, sometimes very dull. There are times when the vocals sound a bit emotionless and it can make some songs feel like a drag. Not too much of that, but enough to make me want to skip a couple of songs on occasion.
Musically, this really is early Maiden meets Goat Horn – lots of galloping riffs and Maiden-inspired melodies, albeit with a little unique touch that makes you go "Hey, I've heard this before but oh wait" – well, you get the idea. ;) Things are anywhere from slow to mid-fast paced, the slower and doomier moments being very much reminiscent of early Goat Horn (the vocals have a lot to do with it), while the faster moments are a mix of both the aforementioned bands, served with Black Moor sauce.
Now this has a lot of ingredients that should make me love this, but besides the slight annoyances with some vocal melodies I mentioned earlier, the album feels a lot longer than it is. At some point I had the feeling it was a good half hour longer than it is. Some songs that feel a bit repetitive could probably have been shortened and made much better as a result. I can't say that they should have cut out some songs, because there's none that feels like complete filler.
Save for these few minor things, this is a really cool album worth checking out, and Black Moor sure have made it on my list of bands to watch. If they fine-tune their style, their next album might make a lot of noise in this crowded metal world. In the meantime, we've got a real decent offering to chew on.
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