Review Summary: Dark Moor return to theyr roots3 of 8 thought this review was well written
After the sucess Dark Moor had with the album 'Tarot', there were high expectations for the followup, the band sure delivered a great piece of music with the new release however any fan waitting for a continuation to the sound in 'Tarot' may well be disapointed as the band has returned to theyr Neo-Classical roots.
Dark Moor is:
Enrik Garcia Guitars
Alfred Romero Vocals
Roberto Cappa Drums
Mario GarcĂ*a Gonzalez Bass
'Autumnal' is nothing short of amazing, as every musical element is so well blend together, creating a great if not spectacular sound, epic songs, never relying too heavily on vocals or any other instrument, allowing the band as a whole to standout. Romero singing style may well no be unique, but it strays away from the normal Power Metal formula as he doesnt go to high, making the album a fairly easy listen to anyone, even those new to the genre. As the main lyrical content is based on fantasy tales, the clean 'balad' vocals, create an amazing feel to the music, growls are rare, but everything is just the way it should be .The guitar work ranges from fast riffs, to highly melodic passages, but how the instruments are used with the addiction of the symphonic elements is definitely the album highpoint. The music is composed in a matter that no instrument feels out of place, and the symphonic arrangements are never overused, to the point that, you will hear them in every music, preety often and never sense as if its a forced symphonic passage to improve the music itself.
The band, from start to finish, shows confort with the melodies and all the other symphonic elements, even borrowing the intro of 'Swan Lake' from Tchaikovsky's ballet, there are obviouslly many bands that tryed and failed to re-use old symphonies, thankfully, the intro track is far from being a failure, even being, by far, the longest track in the album, the song throws addicting fast riffs and a choir in the beggining untill the vocals grab it, going from fast to highly melodic and catchy, great build-ups creating a great ending to the song. Despite being undoubtly a Power Metal album, there are some slower, 'balad' style tracks like 'On The Hill Of Dreams' and 'An End So Cold' each of those with addicting choruses, either with Romero's voice alone, or with an added choir to create atmosphere.
As for the matter of atmosphere in the album, an important part in any album of this genre, it is simply amazing, allways creating a clear picture of the quests and medieval spanish history present on the music's lyrics. The fast 'For Her' contains vicious riffs, amazing fast drums and the orchestra following the vocals, even with so many diferent instruments being used, everything sounds in place, great songwritting. It will make you feel as if you're slaying dragons, saving the damsel in distress and come home alive for a beatifull conclusion done with the ending instrumental 'Fallen Leaves Waltz' which is nothing short of outstanding.
Dark Moor have not only created an excelent symphonic masterpiece, they also raised the bar for any album of the same type, a must have in any collection of the genre, and will, again, raise the expectations for theyr next album. They have indeed returned to theyr older sound, it does sound more symphonic however the songwritting is far superior, some may take it as a good change, some other may not but the truth be told, 'autumnal' is a great album nonetheless.