Founded in 1993, the Spanish band Dark Moor are releasing their tenth full-length, "Project X" album wich definitely marks a new era, which began in the previous album, "Ars Musica" (2013), where the group presented new elements and new musical directions, leaving the Power Metal in the past, keeping the classical and symphonic influences, but now more focused in melodies and classical arrangements, coming closer to Classic Rock and AOR too.
New paths surprised many fans of the previous phases, with Elisa Marin on vocals (who left the band, along with other members in 2002, after the tour of the album "The Gates of Oblivion"), and even the next phase already with Alfred Romero, even including the acclaimed album "Tarot" (2007) considered by far the best Dark Moor's album until then. I believe that some old fans will feel lack of the "more traditional" Power and Symphonic" characteristics, something typical when changes occur, always exit the risk of losing fans, but certainly also sure to gain new ones.
Personally, i totally approved the changes and the evolution in this new album, and I am in favor of the artist does not give limits to themselves, even if it can allocate risks, and it is natural the need to try new things, seek evolution, but without losing the identity. This are things necessary to stay relevant, and also to maintain their own motivation to create. See how many band stopped in time, and failed in try to evolve, failing to produce more music that really excite (speaking in bands in the line of Power Metal, I can name Stratovarius and Gamma Ray, the first failed to evolve their proposal and the second follows doing the same album in years)
In "Ars Musica" there were still some traces of the power metal of previous albums, in "Project X" Dark Moor go more deep on the evolution development on its predecessor, and what we hear is a band with even more emphasis on melodies, and now performs a brilliant and "catchy" Melodic Metal, with nuances of Classic Rock, AOR, Rock Opera, filled with big choruses and melodies where we find references of Queen, Meat Loaf and musicals in a Broadway style.
While not a concept album, "Project X" brings in its 10 tracks a subject that fascinates mankind long ago, the mysteries related to space, whether we are alone in the universe, UFOs, Sci-fi in general. For example, "Abduction" tells of a case of abduction by gray aliens (gray aliens), "The Secret Revealed", the famous Area 51, "Beyond the Stars", about the question "is there life beyond Earth ? " and "The Existence" about the origin of life, where we came from. The album cover is also fantastic, a beautiful illustration designed by Gyula Havancsák (Stratovarius, Grave Digger, Destruction).
The album is a treat for those who appreciate good music, catchy melodies and orchestral arrangements (One of the group's brands), and arrested me on the first hearing, and make more than three weeks the album is in my play list. The intro "November 3023" strats the album, splicing in "Abduction" both with modern arrangements of keyboards, giving a climate of Sci-fi movies, with sounds reminiscent of the genre film soundtracks, opening the album in a vibrant way.
"Beyond the Stars" starts in ballad atmosphere with piano arrangements (the keyboards are well in evidence on the album), and already gives clues to what lies ahead, as we note already that I mentioned before, the emphasis in the melodies, with each instrument working for the music as well as the interpretations full of feeling of Alfred Romero, and the choirs, remembering Broadway musicals, and in a gospel style, who were brilliant (remembered Meat Loaf as well), and a great guitar solo by Enrik, in a Queen vein;
"Conspiracy Revealed" is more "rocker", again with chorus and catchy tunes, and also coral that style "Broadway", and highlighted here for the melodies and the guitar solo with wha wha; "I Want to Belive" one of the album's best songs, a ballad full of emotion, which also brings these elements of Gospel music, making us remember again Queen and Meat Loaf. Highlighting the great interpretation of Romero and the beautiful choruses .
"Bon Voyage", which talks about the crazy adventures of a space traveler, is faster and more modern , which soon merges the reference Classic Rock, great melodies on keyboard, the chorus would not even have to talk, there are many catchy chorus on this album!, but this is really cool, and both the chorus as the choruses reference is Queen again, as well as vocal and keyboard melodies and Enrik's solo that recall the legend Brian May.
"The Existence" brings one of the most sticky melodies and great keyboards together with the powerfull guitar riff, mixing sounds of modern Melodic Metal to Classic Rock; again highlighting the brilliant work on the vocal melodies and choruses, something recurring throughout the album; "Imperial Earth" has a air of movie soundtrack (in the case, sci-fi movies), powerful riffs, a track with more punch; "Gabriel" was also chosen to be the first video release (with the special participation of Javier Botet, from A Colina Scarlate, [REC], Mama and other movies), where we already have a preview of what "Project X" would bring, a new step for the band. This songs is very catchy, great riffs and melodies on guitar, fantastic key's arrangements and chorus that sticks right away!
"There's Something in the Skies" closes the album in epic fashion, with its more than eight minutes, full of variations, virtually condensing everything we can find on the album, great melodies, big choruses, a band on top form! the climates of soundtracks and bits of Brodway musicals, with a great interpretation of Romero, and it is a track which highlights even more the influences of Classic Rock and Queen. The song begins in ballad pace, then go to grow, having at its center an operatic passage (remember that stretch of "Bohemian Rhapsody"?), And then become more "rocker! at the end.
An album that marks a new era for Dark Moor, bringing up their influences in Classic Rock, adding new elements, sounding modern, and above all, with good taste music, full of great and memorable melodies and choruses. Totally approved!!
Band: Dark Moor
Album: Project X
Style: Symphonic Metal/MelodicMetal/Classic Rock
Prod: Luigi Stefanini (Rhapsody of Fire, Vision Divine, Etc) e Enrik Garcia
Label: Scarlet Records
Official Web Site
Alfred Romero - Vocals
Enrik García - Guitars
Ricardo Moreno - Bass
Roberto Cappa - Drums
1. November 3023
3. Beyond The Stars
4. Conspiracy Revealed
5. I Want To Believe
6. Bon Voyage!
7. The Existence
8. Imperial Earth
10. There's Something In The Skies