Released: 2002, Arise Records
Dark Moor is back with their third album THE GATES OF OBLIVION. Formed in 1994 in Madrid, Spain, this album comes on the heels of their 2000 release THE HALL OF THE OLDEN DREAMS and 1999’s debut SHADOWLAND. With each release the band has been getting better and better with stronger songs, much better vocals and melodies. None of the speed and power has been lost at all on their third full-length release and in fact things are just better than ever for this band.
For those of you who don’t know much about the band, Dark Moor play speedy power metal with lots of orchestration in the vein of bands like Rhapsody, Gamma Ray, Blind Guardian, Helloween etc. Female vocalist Elisa Martin fronts the band. The rest of the band is comprised of: Enrik Garcia (guitars & backing vocals), Albert Maroto (guitars & backing vocals), Anan Kaddouri (bass), Jorge Saez (drums), and Robert Pena de Camus (keyboards). THE GATES OF OBLIVION was recorded at New Sin Studios and included collaboration with the Italian choir Valcavasia and Dan Keying (singer in Cydonia). The album was mastered in Finland at the well-known Finnvox studios (Stratovarius, Children Of Bodom, Edguy, etc.). The album’s excellent and fantasy-themed artwork is by none other than Andreas Marschall (Blind Guardian, HammerFall, Running Wild, etc.). He also painted their previous album cover.
There are 12 tracks on THE GATES OF OBLIVION and I find it hard to single out particular tracks as stand outs with the exception of one - the album’s closing track, “Dies Irae (Amadeus)” which has its writing credits listed as Enrik Garcia and Mozart! The track is just over 11 minutes long and never once drags out or becomes repetitious. This is not for fans of straight up power metal. This is multi-layered and as such is a rewarding listen for those who take the time with the CD for it to sink in. I’ve had this album for about 2-3 months now and I am now just finally getting to review it! I could pick out other tracks and rant on and on about the awesome double kicks, ripping solos, vocals, orchestration sections, etc…but let me put it this way – if you like these style of power metal bands (Rhapsody and others similar in style) then Dark Moor are no mere imitators of others. They have really driven that home with this album. They have their own sound and can stand shoulder to shoulder with most of the more known bands of this metal style, and in fact they stand well above many other melodic power metal bands who are better known.
THE GATES OF OBLIVION is by far Dark Moor’s best offering to date. If things keep on improving at this pace, the band will one day be better known and leaders in the pack of melodic power metal. If you’ve not yet given the band a chance and you love other bands from this style, this is the album that might just change your mind. Visit the band’s label at http://www.arisemetal.com
for more information.