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The Hall Of The Olden Dreams
Released: 2000, SPV
In the beginning there was Malmsteen’s classic album TRILOGY. Thus was forged a new brand of metal: epic, powerful and replete with imagery and a sound that painted a picture of swords and sorcery. Shortly thereafter there was a time of darkness during which there was a dearth of epic fantasy metal. Then came HammerFall and a new dispensation was begun. Now, a few years later, the genre is saturated and copycats are everywhere ...
One thing sets Dark Moor apart from all the other bands trying their hands at fantasy power metal. They have a chic for a singer. THE HALL OF OLDEN DREAMS is the second album from these Spaniards, following on the heels of SHADOWLAND. The biggest shortcoming on the debut was that Elisa Martin (vocals) just didn’t have the pipes to get it done. Somewhere in the interim she got better. If Olaf Hayer (see the Luca Turilli side project) had a twin sister, this is what she’d sound like. However, there isn’t a whole lot else that Dark Moor offer in the way of originality.
Don’t get me wrong, Dark Moor are a talented bunch of musicians, drawing perhaps more influence for their sound from early Malmsteen than, say HammerFall does, it’s just that there isn’t anything that really stands out. Along the imaginary spectrum of epic fantasy metal there are posers like Sacred Steel at the low end and bands like HammerFall and Blind Guardian at the high end. In between there is a lot of mediocrity. I’d put Dark Moor near the middle with a slight lean towards the higher end of the spectrum.
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