Anmeldt av Matt Coe(Scarlet Records, 2013)
Spanish symphonic laden power metal band Dark Moor returns with their ninth studio album "Ars Musica". Their name comes from the infamous Sherlock Holmes novel The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle- and as a quartet has been fairly steady for three albums since the arrival of drummer Roberto Cappa in 2007 and bassist Mario Garcia Gonzalez in 2009. So it would be nice to see a few chances taken in terms of their sound as veterans can often become complacent or stagnant with their known style- fearful of losing the faithful due to natural growth.
The first sign of something different occurs early on with "It Is My Way"- as the framework, main melody, and general feel of the track appears to be more in the 1960's pop tradition of say Paul Anka or Frankie Valli meeting up with Dark Moor's natural symphonic tendencies. Guitarist Enrik Garcia knows how to deliver some stunning moments of his own, especially when given the chance to drive an instrumental section home with a slow building harmony - check out "The Road Again" for great lead spirits in the mid-section and conclusion as well as dramatic soprano vocals from guest female Berenice Musa. A little bit of a dance pulse seeps out through "The City of Peace", another number where the neo-classical background comes through as Mario and Enrik deliver arpeggio/ progressive -oriented solo spots.
Alfred Romero as a lead vocalist within Dark Moor morphs his delivery into power passages when called for on the high octane "Living in a Nightmare" as well as softer, more impassioned melodies for the ballad "Gara and Jonay". Recording again at New Sin Studio in Italy, you can tell the band appear very confident and comfortable to showcase all sides of themselves- even including a Spanish sung song "El Ultimo Rey" that appeals with their operatic/ symphonic sensibilities.
Overall, "Ars Musica" is a strong album in the genre and one Dark Moor can hold high in terms of quality and consistency.
10.02.2016: BRIMSTONE COVEN - Black Magic
10.02.2016: MARTYR - You Are Next
09.02.2016: ROTTING CHRIST - Rituals
08.02.2016: STEVE EMERSON & ALAN PERRY - Anarchy in Britain
08.02.2016: SLAP BETTY - Nothing Out of Nothing
07.02.2016: STANDING OVATION - Gravity Beats Nuclear
07.02.2016: BLACK BLOOD - Black Blood
06.02.2016: DJEVELKULT - Bergen - Inside
06.02.2016: WRATHRONE - Born Beneath
06.02.2016: NOW OR NEVER - II
05.02.2016: MANOWAR - Stavanger - Stavanger Konserthus
05.02.2016: RIPPER - Experiment of Existence
05.02.2016: KETZER - Starless
04.02.2016: INFERNAL TENEBRA - As Nations Fall
04.02.2016: DROWNING POOL - Hellelujah
03.02.2016: OBSCURA - Akroasis
02.02.2016: CIRITH GORGOR - Visions Of Exalted Lucifer
02.02.2016: BLACK WIZARD - New Waste
01.02.2016: OPPROBRIUM - Serpent Temptation
31.01.2016: DEN SAAKALDTE - Trondheim - Good Omens