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Review: Dark Moor - Beyond the Sea
Dark Moor
Beyond the Sea

Label: Arise Records
Year released: 2005
Duration: 50:32
Tracks: 11
Genre: Epic/Symphonic Power Metal

Rating: 4.25/5

Review online: January 26, 2006
Reviewed by: Ivan the Bludgeon
Readers Rating
Beyond the Sea

Rated 3.9/5 (78%) (20 Votes)

It's just impossible to fancy what a great number of mutations and metamorphoses the Metal genre has been exposed to lately. There are such a lot of subspecies in stock today that sometimes you are merely not sure how to dub one or another case you have to deal with. Sometimes these mutations are nothing else but flagrant faults of the overfilled musical habitat, sometimes they are nothing new yet strong enough to be placed into the golden mean, and sometimes (sadly, a rare case) they just outshine the rest by their uniqueness.

DARK MOOR can be easily ascribed to the second category. Not being quite unparalleled on today's metal stage, these Spaniards still make good Power Metal albums measurably spiced with some symphonic elements. Certainly they couldn't escape the common lot of imitating some pathfinders of the genre, yet they managed to develop their own sound distinguishing them from the rest.

"Beyond The Sea" is the band's fifth album and the second featuring almost a new line-up except founder and main composer Enrik Garcia. With that involuntary change, a relatively young band went through its second birth. And I must admit that I like it better in this re-born capacity. I can't judge the first attempt of the new line-up as I still haven't had a chance of getting familiar with it, but the subject matter is surely met with my approval. Putting aside a track-by-track analysis, I'll simply try to get across my overall conclusions about this release.

First, this is not an epoch-making masterpiece that will be continuously referred to in the future by reviewers when making an appropriate comparison. On the other hand, this is a really strong and captivating album ample in rich musical structures and arrangements. Besides, for those preferring their metal with a lot of sugar there is a vast deal of sweet points to take a real pleasure in. Following mainly the general canons of Power Metal, it occasionally erases the distinction between metal styles and you can hear a lot of symphonic licks, piano splashes, unexpected interludes with the totality of classical instruments and kettle drums and even some growls in a couple of songs. The whole musical filling of the album is not far from that of KAMELOT: I compared "Beyond The Sea" with KAMELOT'S "Epica" and was pleasantly surprised how similar both of these works are. The songwriting is also good enough though if compared to KAMELOT on this point, DARK MOOR is somewhat inferior.

Second, the idea of superb production in music is not the last thing to reckon with. And here you face a fairly worthy example of impeccable efforts from those responsible for the band's sounding. Although the main man in the face of senor Garcia is a guitarist, he doesn't dominate on this album at all, enabling the rest of the team to prove themselves as well. No part here is overshadowed by the others – each instrumental and vocal line is clearly heard and penetrates deep into your heart. Sonically this album is, no doubt, the best release under the band's belt.

And finally, one can fall into a long discussion about the degradation of the genre claiming that all Power Metal bands in the world are just clones of each other, but this is a horse of a different color… So I'll just take off my hat and say "Thank you very much for sharing your talent with us".

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