Musical Joy

Dark Moor

Dark Moor

Dark Moor

Dark Moor was formed in 1994 in Madrid, Spain. They recorded their debut album, “Shadowland”, in the summer of 1999.  Shortly after the release of “Shadowland”, Dark Moor played live supporting Demons & Wizards on their Spanish Tour. They then began the recording sessions for their second album, “The Hall of the Olden Dreams”, in August 2000 at New Sin Studios with producer Luigi Stefanini. During these recording sessions, the band recorded their cover of “Halloween”, which was included on the CD “The Keepers of Jericho” – A Tribute to Helloween – (Arise Records). Their E.P “The Fall of Melnibone” was released in June 2001. This E.P was a limited edition. Only 1500 copies were released, and only for the Spanish market. Dark Moor began the recording of their third album, “The Gates of Oblivion”, in Autumn 2001 at New Sin Studios. Dark Moor signed with the major label J.V.C for the Asian release. The band played 18 gigs at festivals such as Rock Machina, Viña Rock and Nit De Reis. After the first part of the tour, keyboardist Roberto Peña left the band and the band was forced to finish the tour with a guest musician. In August of 2003 Dark Moor recorded four new exclusive acoustic tracks along with a string quartet, to be included in “Between Light and Darkness”, which was released in April 2003. Due to differing points of view regarding the musical direction for the next Dark Moor album, vocalist Elisa Martin, guitarist Albert Maroto and drummer Jorge Sáez decided to leave Dark Moor to start a new band. The two remaining members of the band decided to start a search for new members. After the auditions, they accepted vocalist Alfred Romero, guitarist Jose Garrido, and drummer Andy C. In August of 2003, the band started recording their fourth album, “Dark Moor”, at New Sin Studios in Italy. Following a month of recording sessions, the album was mastered by Mika Jussila at Finnvox. On November 23rd, 2006, the band announced the departure of their drummer on their official website, due to “incompatibility with his other musical projects.” He would go on to play drums for Saratoga. His replacement, Roberto Cappa, was previously in the Spanish metal band Anima Sola.

Discography (That I Own)

  1. Shadowland (1999) – The debut Album by Dark Moor. This is a decent first album. It’s a pretty good metal album. It has a nice mixture of hard rock with metal influences. The blending vocals of lead singer Elisa C. Martin and the male singer are nice, but otherwise the album really doesn’t have anything that makes it stand out in my mind.
  2. The Hall of Olden Dreams (2000) – The second album by Dark Moor. We start with a bombastic intro and then launch into the second song of the track. The album sounds far more promising than the first. Quite the epic power metal with the warm voice of Elisa Martin. Her vocals are different from the typical flavor of the day song stylings of most metal bands. Instead of soaring soprano operatic vocals, she keeps it the songs flowing like a chant, a warm sort of rock n roll flavor.
  3. The Fall of Melnibone (2001) – EP by Dark Moor. This has a sort of edgy and epic sound to it. Like all of Dark Moor’s albums, there is a fantasy setting here, a strange and interesting story that must be told. Male choral vocals are fantastic on this album. Guitars are a true joy, and everyone who has read my previous posts knows that I adore guitars!
  4. Gates of Oblivion (2002) – The third album by Dark Moor. The over blown keyboards, the speed metal guitars (I love Guitars), the pounding drums, the glorious over the top choruses, the orchestral passages interwoven with baroque and classical movements enchanted me making this one of my favorite Dark Moor albums.
  5. Between Light and Darkness (2003) – The second EP by Dark Moor. This one starts of with a lovely and lively guitar melody. It makes me think of minstrels of old. Glorious! Then Elisa opens up with a lovely little tune. Sublime. This album is different from all of their previous works due to the use of harp, flute, violin, viola, cello, and piano. They show a side to Dark Moor that was not previously shown on their other albums. The other albums held lots of bombast and power metal vocals. This album has a natural feel and I think it showcases the vocal talents of Elisa Martin better than perhaps any other Dark Moor album. Sadly this is the last album that Dark Moor produced with Elisa since she left the band after the production of this album.
  6. Tarot (2007) – The sixth album by Dark Moor. This album has guest vocalist Manda Ophuis of Nemesea and I must confess that is what made me interested in getting this album. It is clear that the now all male line up traded metal heaviness in favor of symponic metal. While some may not like this change, I applaud the choice and really enjoyed the album. I love the songs in which Manda Ophuis backed up the male lead singer, Alfred Romero. He has a terrific voice I might add!

In Conclusion
I love the older music of Dark Moor, and was a bit saddened when Elisa C. Martin parted ways with them and they chose to be a band fronted by a male vocalist. I admit that I thought this was a mistake. Now I know that I was foolish. Alfred has a great voice and their use of female guest vocalists gives the band a unique shift with each new album.

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