Dark Moor: Tarot
Dark Moor - Tarot - [Scarlet Records]


I remember listening to Dark Moor's debut album – "Shadowland", and not being overly impressed by it. True, this Spanish power metal band had quite an impressive technical ability, with rhythm section and guitars doing a fine job, but the female vocals were uninspired and the songs themselves lacked any real substance or hooks.

Fast-forward 8 years later, and it seems that time and experience have done well for this group; the band's 6th release has a much stronger basis in the form of vocalist Alfred Romero, who brings to mind some of the better Italian power metal vocalists, and the music itself seems to have been crafted with greater care, ending up in what is an unassuming, yet very enjoyable melodic metal album.

This isn’t as clichéd as one would expect, though it's still Euro power metal, with some big choruses and a heavy handed approach to keyboard work; the basis is more traditional heavy metal, as one can hear in such tracks as the opener – "The Chariot", also benefiting from some female chorus vocals that add some depth to the proceedings. You can also find some prog elements here and there, emanating from the keyboard use and the neo-classical touches in such tracks as "The Moon". There's very little doubt that these guys have a considerable musical talent, and they are real pros too, it's all well played and technically impressive. Another standout track is "Wheel Of Fortune", that sounded a bit like a Kamelot song to me, with big melodies and some nifty guitar work.

So it isn’t the best metal album of recent times, but it's still quite an impressive melodic metal release that is leaps and bounds beyond that band's initial releases.

Alon Miasnikov

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