Dark Moor used to be a band that put out simply brilliant neo-classical symphonic power metal. Then, for whatever reason they separated from vocalist Elisa and apparently the former song writers. This seems to have been the band's undoing.
All albums following the loss of Elisa and other obviously key members, have been essentially worthless. This album is no exception.
Falling away from their former majestic power metal prestige, and into goth rock tinged "metal", the band seems to embrace their failure on Tarot and delve further into the cesspool of mediocrity.
It seems like the band is trying to mimic the O so queer, yet bafflingly exalted kings of this emo goth quasi-metal genre, Kamelot. Dear Odin, do I ever hate Kamelot. Of all the bands to try to imitate, why Kamelot? Anyway ...
~ Recipe for Tarot -
1 pound generic European power metal
20 oz. of Kamelot worship
3 cups luke warm mediocrity
2 tablespoons potential
A pinch of former glory to taste
Mash the European power metal and Kamelot worship well together. Separate into ten blobs onto a cooking sheet. Baste with luke warm mediocrity. Sprinkle former glory lightly on top. Bake at 200 degrees, until blobs are half-baked. ~
There are moments where the band seems to remember how to play and write, but in most cases it just fades back into worthless goth tinged power metal crap.
The drumming is in essence the same as always, despite a change in drummer. Quite rhythmic, tight, and relatively fast at times. No complains here. Above average drumming. The guitar playing is fairly run-of-the-mill rythmically, the keyboard parts are certainly not up to par, and the vocals are also subpar. But really, the problem isn't in the guitar, the bass, the drums, the keyboard and not completely the vocals (I'll get to the vocals). It's not in the playing at all. It's the song writing.
The band has the audacity to use Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata as most of what is the epic "The Moon" - pretentious, stupid, and a testament to what I'm saying concerning the song writing. Okay, in all honesty, I never complained about Rhapsody using Dvorak's New World Symphony as most of the The Wizard's Last Rhymes ... but for starters, that is an epic orchestral piece, and Moonlight Sonata is ... a piano piece. It's a much bigger gap to fill when all you have is a piano piece to rip off. There's also is a difference in that Rhapsody did it well.
The songs are just weak. Weak, weak, weak. Most of the songs are chorus oriented, which I don't mind sometimes in power metal, like Nocturnal Rites. But Nocturnal Rites has ridiculously catchy choruses. These choruses are ... vocal training for the singers. They're just there. They're so not memorable, and passable it's almost special in some crooked kind of way.
There's female vocals doing duets on a lot of parts, they sound cheesy, sappy, and just plain uninspired. Same goes for the vocalist of the band. He's just ... there. He sings. He's just a vocalist. He isn't exceptionally talented, not unique, and least of all, not very ballsy. Though, on a broad scale almost no bands hire a guy who can't sing, so this guy is damn near as bad as they come. If I could rate his performance alone, it'd get a 9 out of 100.
Despite this album being full of mediocrity and boring filler, there are a couple moments of awesomeness. The song Death for instance does bear a bit of said former glory. If not for the vocals it'd be like symphonic speed metal. Pretty catchy, relentless, and a bridge worthy of previous albums with an awesome solo full of rhythmic arpeggios and great keyboard work. If all the album were this good, it'd be a success.
Let me try to do this without it being too lopsided ...
Pros: The song Death, the bridge to "Devil in the Tower", most of the keyboard work, some catchy guitar leads and occasional awesome solos.
Cons: Uninspired, all vocals, sounds too much like Kamelot - and that's a double count against it, conspicuously plagiarizing a legendary composer, and what’s worse - they can’t even manage to not make it boring, the song The Chariot ... definitely The Chariot ... bleh.
I can sternly say, this is just barely mediocre overall, but passively bad if I want to be a little more harsh. Not actively bad like most grindcore bands, but passively bad. Instrument wise, it’s actually quite good, on any other level, emotionally, intellectually, artistically - all but empty. I'm still barely giving this a passing grade, but that doesn't necessarily mean it succeeds.
Ulitmately, the bad points far outnumber the good. This is really the kind of stuff that prevents a lot of people from getting into power metal, and gives it a bad reputation among real metalheads. I’m sure some unknowing power metal fanboy will review this and rave about it for lack of hearing anything better, but take it from someone who has over 300 power metal albums - go for their first three albums, and avoid this.
Его взгляд скользнул по стройной фигурке, задержался на белой блузке с едва различимым под ней бюстгальтером, на юбке до колен цвета хаки и, наконец, на ее ногах… ногах Сьюзан Флетчер. Трудно поверить, что такие ножки носят 170 баллов IQ. Охранник покачал головой.