A band I've followed for many years is the symphonic group Dark Moor who have long shown that a Spanish metal group can match it with the rest. My standout Dark Moor releases remain those early albums The Hall of the Olden Dreams from 2000 and 2002's The Gates of Oblivion which really are irresistible classics of their kind. Dark Moor followed these two with the release of an EP Between Light And Darkness but in 2003 this incarnation of the band broke up in a major way.
Showing much resilience Dark Moor successfully rebounded with a semi new line-up joining the two members that remained having also made the switch to a male vocalist with Alfred Romero, and I always found moving forward they were still the complete package consistently releasing impressive albums. So Dark Moor never faltered and of course you would expect some differences and if anything the band got heavier, with many captivating gems of songs along the way such as "Ah! Wretched Me" off their last album Ancestral Romance.
Once again Dark Moor are in strong form with Ars Musica, their latest album is a further sturdy symphonic showing and returning with those Dark Moor familiarities and that healthy orchestration component you won't mistake who the band is. Orchestral instrumental title track "Ars Musica" opens the album building in power as it progresses before the vibrant symphonic power metal of "First Lance Of Spain" comes into play. Dark Moor follow with three rockers "Together As Ever" being the strongest thanks to that ever so catchy chorus, they lead us to "The City Of Peace" which is such an uplifting tune that is sure to get many repeats the guitar and bass solos also sound so totally cool. Alfred Romero's sings mainly in English but Spanish vocals do also appear on a wonderful song called "El Último Rey" while yes I don't have a clue what he is singing but his wonderful performance is flowing with so much passion. Alfred's striking vocals get quite theatrical on the chorus of an album standout and one of Dark Moor's best songs in a while with a great dramatic feel "Living In A Nightmare", there is a bonus orchestral version available of this same lively track that sounds so good also. It's those times when the band branches out and gets more adventurous when they truly shine.
When symphonic power metal is this satisfying from one of the best in the game it deserves to be awarded considerable praise. Album number nine Ars Musica maintains Dark Moor's track record of admirable releases.
1. Ars Musica (Intro)
2. First Lance Of Spain
3. It Is My Way
4. The Road Again
5. Together As Ever
6. The City Of Peace
7. Gara And Jonay
8. Living In A Nightmare
9. El Último Rey
10. St. James Way
11. Spanish Suite (Asturias)
12. The Road Again (Acoustic Version)
13. Living In A Nightmare (Orchestral version)