Dark Moor - The Hall Of The Olden Dreams
The Hall of the Olden Dreams is the newest album from Spanish Dark Moor and by far their best one. This is power metal as it's supposed to sound when it is at it's very best. The best way to describe the sound would be to say that Dark Moor's a mix between Rhapsody and White Skull but doesn't have the pronounced classical touch that Rhapsody possesses. The comparison with White Skull is mostly because of the female vocals but Frederica Sister's got a "rawer" touch to her singing than Elisa. Overall Dark Moor simply sounds like Dark Moor which means that they have found their own individual touch to the music which is so important to have if you're to be really successful in this genre with so many similar "Helloween- influenced" bands and such.
The songs are rapid, very melodic with outstanding intros, verses and above all choruses. Elisa's voice is very beautiful and just cut for the sound. The guitar melodies are just truly fantastic too and added to this is very nice keyboard playing and good lyrics. The solos too are very good and melodic. The production could be a little better though. The sound perhaps lacks a little heaviness and a more powerful guitar sound but according to other information about their coming album these few things will be taken care of and how I am going to survive that will take some serious planning.
This album's just totally fantastic and almost every track on it has a killer sing-along verse and chorus. All the songs except the ballad The Sound of the Blade are fast ones and that ballad's the only reason why Dark Moor doesn't get a full 10 chalices out of 10 from me. My personal favourite tracks of the album are Somewhere in Dreams which is a perfect opener that sets the mark for the entire album, The Maid of Orleans which is a true killer with a fantastic verse and chorus and the same goes for the following track, Bells of Notre Dame. Other truly fantastic songs are the somewhat Blind Guardian sounding Silver Lake and the very pompous and epic Quest for the Eternal Fame.
This album is, according to me as you might already have guessed, one of the very best power metal releases during the year 2001 so do yourself a great favour and check out Dark Moor if you haven't already. And have faith dear companions of metal - their new album, The Gates of Oblivion, is due for release soon during March 2002. I know I'm waiting with great anticipation for this and after having heard The Hall of the Olden Dreams I surely hope you will too although you perhaps don't share my enormous enthusiasm.
But I think that it's a really awesome album and a milestone in my constantly expanding CD-collection. The album will continue to spin in my CD-player and use (and abuse?) my loudspeakers for years and years to come!