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Review: Dark Moor - The Hall of the Olden Dreams
Dark Moor
The Hall of the Olden Dreams

Label: SPV
Year released: 2001
Duration: 48:45
Tracks: 10
Genre: Power Metal

Rating: 5/5

Review online: June 21, 2005
Reviewed by: Eddiethe'Ead
Readers Rating
The Hall of the Olden Dreams

Rated 4.32/5 (86.36%) (44 Votes)

Ladies and gentlemen, Dark Moor kicks an unbelievable amount of ass, and for once I am going to have to agree 100% with my colleague Lord Requiem. This is, without a doubt, not only the greatest symphonic album of all-time, but also the greatest power metal album of all-time, period. You want insanely complex guitar shredding? You got it. You want perfectly timed, lightning quick drumming? You got it. You want a female vocalist that has balls of steel and puts men to shame? Well, you certainly got it here.

Dark Moor (R.I.P.) embodies everything I believe power metal should be. The songs are perfectly paced and mostly linear, but theyll mix it up here and there by throwing in a solo after the first verse instead of the second, etc. The vocals and lyrics are topnotch, the drumming is out of this world, and the guitar riffs are just so beautiful and memorable that they will stick in your head for days. Elisa is a terrific singer for this style of music, and she really shines on the uptempo songs. However, I do not think she sings very good in ballad type songs, as demonstrated on Sound of the Blade. This is the main song where it shows that her grasp of the English language is not totally controlled, and because of this that song is probably my least favorite on the album.

What is the best song on here? That is a very, very tough question. On the first few listens I was convinced it was Beyond the Fire, with its great riff and that instantly classic vocal line I'm not afraid. But after more and more listens Hand in Hand gets me smiling every time with its killer chorus. Then again there is Maid of Orleans with also has a great chorus and awesome lead work. Then there is Somewhere in Dreams and Silver Lake, holy shit there is just too many tracks to pick just one. There are no weaknesses on this album, and even the ballad Sound of the Blade has its share of good musical moments.

It is a real shame that Dark Moor didn't stay together with this classic lineup. Gates of Oblivion and Shadowland were the only other full-lengths, with the latter having a horrible production job and just barely showing what the band was capable of. Hall of the Olden Dreams is a mandatory purchase for any fan of power metal. All of the elements of great music are here: catchy verses and choruses, outstanding drumming and guitar playing, and freshly inspired songwriting that never gets old no matter how many times you play it. This is a disc for the ages, and it is certainly in my top 10 records of all-time.

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