Review Summary: Dark Moor comeback's more melodic and catchier than ever
The Spanish symphonic power/neoclassical metal band Dark Moor has been with us for two decades, as it was formed in 1993. “Ars Musica” is their ninth and probably most experimental album.
Following a beautiful instrumental intro begins the first true song of the album, “The First Lance of Spain” a fast and powerful song (with a catchy chorus) with the participation of Berenice Musa (Tears of Martyr), who also was in their previous album, “Ancestral Romance”.
Next we have nice songs but not that different to each other, like “This is my way” and “Together as ever” , although both are very listenable and quite catchy. “The city of peace” talks about the Spanish city of Toledo and doesn’t differ much with the second song. “Gara & Jonay”, meanwhile, is a beautiful ballad which act as the album’s interlude.
“Living in a nightmare” (with a beginning that recalls Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee”) is probably the heaviest song Dark Moor has ever done and it’s here when we see the best use of the choirs and the classical orchestral elements. Definitely one of the best songs in the album, if not the best.
“El Último Rey”, entirely in Spanish, it’s other of the remarkable songs of this album, with combines Arabic and Flamenco elements to give it a unique feeling. “St James’s way” it's another good song with nice piano arrangements.
We also have a great instrumental adaptation of Isaac Albeniz’s Asturias in "Spanish Suite (Asturias)", with heavy orchestral sounds, a more neoclassical feeling and great guitar work. Album closes with two enjoyable bonus tracks, an acoustic version of “The Road Again” and an orchestral version of “Living In a Nightmare”
This is a more melodic Dark Moor, which probably won’t satisfy everyone, especially if you compare it with their previous works, but this band always provide something fresh to the genre and their albums are well worth listening to. And this is no exception.