» Enrik García - Dark Moor
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After writhing and writing my favorable review for the new Dark Moor CD - Tarot, I was quite pleased and moonstruck, when the band, beyond the seamingly endless tide, themselves contacted me to offer their appreciation, from hell. I was even more shadowed and blessed, when the dark mortal magician - Enrik García, himself, volunteered to conduct a terse interchange. This is the stark moribund interview, towering over all others. I'm no devilish fool of the world, nor a harangued man; because, I am an ardent lover of their music and the weal of fortudinous suggestion. So, for all you dear serious Dark Moor fans, enjoy this cherished ride.

MettleAngel: Enrik, let me begin by saying that, Tarot is an amazing album, I just love listening to it over and over! I was honoured to write a review for it; although, I may have assumed more than my audience about the overall concept, and incisive subject matter. Would you kindly care to comment on the Tarot theme for the album? Was this a new decision, or something which you have been endeavouring to do for quite sometime?

  • Enrik: Thanks for your wonderful words! We thought that now was the proper moment to make a conceptually based album. However, we didn't want to make a line-tale saga with one beginning, and another simple ending. We searched about for one idea in this way; that we could still be original, and in this capacity we thought about and decided upon the Tarot.

MettleAngel: I would suggest that you made the appropriate decision. I noticed that you chose only the Major Arcana icons for song titles, how did you ultimately reach this decision, and why did you choose the particular ones which appear on the CD? Even though The Fool is the bonus track, I assume that you wrote this to be on the album originally, correct?

  • Enrik: The Major Arcana is the most significant in the Tarot deck, so we thought it wise just to write the lyrics about each Arcane character. Each song is independent, yet still manages to fit into the general concept of the Tarot. Each individual song writer tends to contribute to the song apsects of his own personality and reflections. From the esoteric renderings, to the history or personally meaning, each ultimately becomes one's own subjective perspective, enhanced. About The Fool, yes, it is possible, we could have included that in the regular version; but, if you remember, the Fool is the card without any number of the Major Arcanes, so… I think that to be quite appropriate for the bonus track, almost as if it was its destiny… ha, ha, ha.

MettleAngel: I did not think of it that way. That is true that The Fool card is numberless, so it would make sense to make it a bonus track; especially since the individual song has its own character, as you suggest, given the particular musician whom contributed. As with all Dark Moor music, there is always a beautiful blend of history, art, and mystery. What ultimately possessed you to make this new album all about the sacred Tarot?

  • Enrik: Yes, we always take care for all the details when writing and recording an album… he, he, and the element of mystery is very important in the Dark Moor's tales… It is possible that the spirit of Aleister Crowley possessed me… or it is possible that I could have become possessed by my Avatar Warlock of World Of Warcraft!

MettleAngel: I can see you have quite a sense of humour, which is so healthy. Don't tell me you too have become addicted to World Of Warcraft. This game is becoming a major pre-occupation among metalheads. I can't comment as I have never played the game; yet rather enjoyed the South Park episode commenting on this. I understand the creator of the game is a huge Hammerfall fan. Continuing with your beliefs and perspectives, are you an advocate of the Tarot and divination in particular, or do you see it more as one of the great spiritual mysteries of life? Being of a Spanish descent, I would assume you stem from a strong Roman Catholic background; it might surprise you to know that in the 12th Century to be considered a doctor of the Church, one had to master all the Sciences including Alchemy, Astrology, and some aspects of the Tarot. Although, one always did this with a Christological mindset so as to not upset the Papacy.

  • Enrik: No, I'm an atheist. But, I like to learn and discover a lot about the history of religions and their mystic wonder of the world. I think that the Tarot, really is nothing more than a game, but, it is true that it is really well done; because it contains a lot of possibility to always offer you some solution. In the 12th Century if you have a good relations with the Tarot, it is possible that you end in the bonfire… ha, ha, ha.

MettleAngel: Actually, if you were viewed to be uneducated and poor, and you dabbled with the occult; then your chance of being burned at the stake greatly increased. However, If you managed to win the favour of the king or clergy, then divination became your art. Leaders in authority were always asking the "gifted" for assistance. Also, only the priveledged had any access to the sacred arts and even writng tools. So, they discerned the Tarot, Astrology, Alchemy, etc. in the name of science; while the gypsies and vagabonds used the same cards, images, and themes in a much more bucolic fashion. This is why today you have your so-called psychics telling you your future as you desire it to be; and real scientists who tell you how it truly is. Ultimately, there is nothing new under the sun, but I digress, as usual...How did you decide upon the artwork for this album? The comely woman on the cover, does not instantly carry an occultic vibe, would you not agree?

  • Enrik: The cover comes from Derek Gores, and it is an authentic masterpiece; truly a great work of art. For me, Derek is one of the best draftsman in the world. The woman on the cover is shown holding the Wheel Of Fortune in her hand, do you need more mystery, than that? Ha, ha…

MettleAngel: Alright, I get it. Beauty and mystery go hand in hand, literally. I guess I did not make the connection. I am not familiar with this artist, but judging by this cover art, I agree with you that he is quite blessed with talent and an eye for the unknown. So in keeping with Dark Moor's style and design, I noticed you made extensive use of Beethoven for the song: The Moon, with his 5th Symphony and Moonlight Sonata. Which came first, the idea to adapt this music, or the song/lyrics and a desire to use this majestic melody?

  • Enrik: We have had the idea to adapt this music for quite some time. Obviously, this is not the first time in Dark Moor that we adapted masterpieces of classical musical elements, as you well know. We have worked with Mozart and even Vivaldi in the past. I think that is a unique feature of Dark Moor, that we represent classical culture and demonstrate our inspiration from the masters of this style of music!

MettleAngel: Yes, indeed, this is one of the reasons why I so adore your band, and you as a dark mordant musician. Are you, yourself, classically trained? Your guitar playing is just so incredible. What is your musical background? You seem to have a propensity for Bach, Beethoven, & Vivaldi; as well as a dutiful proclivity to re-create Mozart in a new light, as evidenced by Dies Irae and other songs.

  • Enrik: Yes, I have had the fortune and honour to learn Solfeggio and Harmony when I was a child, thanks to my parents. After this I entered into the rock world and became acquainted with metal music. I began to play the classic guitar when I was just seven years old. I then took up to playing the electric guitar when I turned twelve. I rememeber that I saw a concert of Rainbow with the London Orchestra playing the 9th Symphony of Beethoven, and I fell in love of this one and that arrangement. I began to study Ritchie Blackmore, and after that Yngwie Malmsteen; since they were my heroes then.

MettleAngel: I can see that evidenced in your playing; especially, Ritchie Blackmore. What he does with Blackmore's Night is just a logical progression from this. That is amazing that you played guitar as early as seven. This explains why you have such an ear for music. As much as I so treasure the new CD, I only received a promo copy, so I don't have the booklet or lyrics. I wrote my review based on multiple listens. Given the fact that the band is only a four piece, I hear so much instrumentation, how do you explain this? Do you essentially compose all the music yourself? Do you also play keyboards? What other instruments are you fond of playing?

  • Enrik: Yes, I compose all the orchestrations. In Dark Moor we like to use the orchestra like it is really another another instrument. This adds a new definition to the sound, so that in the band, the guitar parts, the bass, and drums all become part of the total orchestra. Our dream is that we could actually record one CD with a real orchestra, but now, realistically, that is too expensive for us, so we work with samplers, computers and keyboards; in order to accomplish this illusion.

MettleAngel: You sure could have fooled me! I assumed that you did work with an orchestra. I know it was not like Therion or anything; but I did not know that you "faked" certain aspects. I celebrate those sweet vocals of feminie persuasion, on certain songs; who is the mysterious maiden who duets with Alfred on The Chariot and other melodies? Is she strictly a studio session vocalist, or will she go on tour with you?

  • Enrik: Yes, her name is Manda Ophius. She is from the Dutch band Nemesea. She is a great singer, like you can hear on our album, and when she performs with her own band. We needed a female vocalist to contribute to the recording for this album, so we got in contact with her. She came to record with us, and she was very happy to have the opportunity to collaborate with us.

MettleAngel: I have heard the name Nemesea, but I am not too familiar with their music. I will definitely have to research this more. She does such a great job in the video with Alfred. Although, it seems like Alfred just can not catch a break. On the self titled release, critics complained that he sounded too much like Elisa C. Martin, now too many whine that he sounds just like Roy Khan of Kamelot. Is this intentional, I notice a certain similarity to both vocalists; but I feel he has such a wonderful style all his own. What are your thoughts?

  • Enrik: I think that Alfred is the best. Ha, ha. No, really I think that Alfred is a great vocalist with a personal register to his voice. We are very happy with his work in the band, and think that what he offers, given his vocal attributes to Dark Moor, with his higher level range; that we stay with him and his style, nevermore concerned with all the comparisons. It is possible that if you listen the first time you may find similarities with other singers, but like with any other singer of the world the first time that you listen, this is always the case. However, if you listen to him carefully, you could really begin to estimate all his art, personality, and vocal work ethic.

MettleAngel: I totally agree! As a reviewer, all you can do is make comparisons and contrasts. Interestingly enough, I never detected the Kamelot elements until after I read several reviews; then once the idea had been planted in my head, I began to notice the affecatation. Ultimately, I still feel Alfred has a wonderful voice, and is well-suited to Dark Moor. Besides, Elisa has sung for Hamka and Fairyland, and when she does so, one can't help but notice Dark Moor profanations. She sort of found her own voice in Dream Maker; primarily, since the music is nothing like Dark Moor. I am so pleased the band has been able to carry on, despite the loss of such great musicianship and female vocal contributions. I think that Tarot is verification of this. Now on a persoanl note, so far Dark Moor has yet to cross the American shores, this avid writer waits to witness your presence, any hopes blessed? Any plans to come and tour America in the near future?

  • Enrik: Yes, we are working on getting this underway; but I can't promise you anything yet,… sorry :-(

MettleAngel: Well, I know all good things come to those who wait, so please keep me posted, as this would be such an amazing event! I realized that you have currently signed to Scarlet Records, are you quite pleased with this label? Have they promoted the band better than Arise did?

  • Enrik: I prefer to not compare labels. I respect the work of both. Now, we are very happy with Scarlet, because they effect a strong presence for us in Europe. We signed with them because we know that they enjoy our music a lot, and this is important for us.

MettleAngel: Then it seems like you made the right decision. I'm pleased that there are no issues with Arise, as well. Enrik, I truly want to thank you for consenting to this brief interview with me, given your very busy schedule. Do you have any comments or questions for myself or your fans here at the Metal Covenant?

  • Enrik: Thanks to you so much Michael, and I would like to send a warm greetings for all your readers of Metal Covenant, keep up the great work...Stay Metal!!!!

MettleAngel: Thank You So much Man, and you now we all will, indeed, stay mettle!

See also: review of the album Tarot

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