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Review: Dark Moor - The Gates of Oblivion
Dark Moor
www.dark-moor.com
The Gates of Oblivion

Label: Arise Records
Year released: 2002
Tracks: 12
Genre: Epic/Symphonic Power Metal

Rating: 4.5/5

Review online: March 29, 2003
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The Gates of Oblivion

Rated 4.69/5 (93.79%) (29 Votes)
Review


Spain is not exactly a place you associate with great metal, but who knows, that could change. It could change right here. This is the third release by this band, the stars of the Spanish metal scene, and it’s a remarkable disc.

My first response to "Gates of Oblivion" was something like "Holy shit, these guys do Rhapsody better than Rhapsody do!" and that pretty much tells you everything you need to know about Dark Moor’s style. They play complex, symphonic Italian-style power metal a LOT like Rhapsody, but they do it better. This kind of metal usually isn’t my thing, but Dark Moor pull everything off with style and polish.

One thing that distinguishes this band from Rhapsody is the vocals. I have always thought Fabio Leone was too weak vocally to carry a band as elaborate as Rhapsody. Here Dark Moor have an edge with vocalist Elisa. Yes, it’s a girl, but you’d hardly know it to hear her. On their earlier releases her voice was uncertain and her accent was very heavy. But she has improved dramatically on all fronts and is now as strong a singer as any guy on the scene. She has more edge and fire in her voice than most guys manage, plus a growing reputation as a dynamo on stage.

The musicianship here is really excellent, with busy, classical arrangements and the expected double-bass attack. This has all the usual elements of Italian-style metal, and Dark Moor aren’t breaking any new ground, but the quality of the music here is undeniable. About half the songs sort of run together, but when Dark Moor are on the money, as in "In the Heart of Stone", "Starmaker" and "The Night of the Age", there’s nobody who can claim to do this style any better. Of especial note is the eleven-minute plus finale "Dies Irae (Amadeus)" which is a metalized version of Mozart’s funeral mass, a very impressive song.

If you are a fan of this type of eurometal you need this CD, as Dark Moor are as good as it gets here. Even if this kind of stuff is not your thing you should give this album a try, Dark Moor might be good enough to impress you anyway.


Track Listing:
  1. In the Heart of Stone
  2. A New World
  3. Gates of Oblivion
  4. Nevermore
  5. Starmaker (Elbereth)
  6. Mist in the Twilight
  7. By the Strange Path of Destiny
  8. The Night of the Age
  9. Your Symphony
  10. Citadel of the Light
  11. A Truth of Me
  12. Dies Irae (Amadeus)
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