Dark Moor - Beyond The Sea
Arise Records
Epic / Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (50'32)
Release year: 2005
Dark Moor, Arise Records
Reviewed by Marty
Beyond The Sea is the second album for Dark Moor with their new line-up. Several years ago, vocalist Elisa Martin, guitarist Albert Maroto and drummer Jorge Saez all departed to form Dreamaker leaving Dark Moor to recruit new members. One of the best additions to the band was vocalist Albert Romero. His strong and melodic voice gave Dark Moor's music a depth and passion that it never had before. I really liked their debut release with the new line-up (simply entitled Dark Moor) and even though I over-quoted it a bit with my score (92/100), it still makes it's way into my CD player once in a while and has definitely stood the test of time. With this new album Beyond The Sea, Dark Moor once again delivers another solid album that sees some changes in approach as far as song arrangements. The epic power metal style is still ever-present but the speediness and orchestration that was such a staple of their music with their old line-up are kept to a minimum and are more effectively used to add great dynamics to the songs and there's much more attention to the choruses and vocal arrangements.

Before The Duel leads off the album and has a great Kamelot-like epic and dramatic style with it's galloping riffs and energetic vocals by Albert Romero. Much like most of this album, the vocals are catchy and the choruses strong and memorable. Several tracks really deviate from the usual Dark Moor sound namely Miracles, Green Eyes and the title track Beyond The Sea. Miracles uses more of traditional melodic heavy metal style but with some nice neo-classical interludes with choirs and Green Eyes fulfills the obligatory power ballad slot with it's slower pace, melodic lead guitar harmonies and a huge emotional chorus. Beyond The Sea is more of mid-tempo track with a style and pace much like Ozzy's Shot In The Dark from The Ultimate Sin album. A solid and catchy tune, this track as with the two previously mentioned ones all have killer melodic choruses. The more "classic" Dark Moor sound emerges on tracks like Houdini's Great Escapade, Going On, Alea Jacta and the epic track The Silver Key. Houdini's Great Escapade is huge in it's drama and uses a mix of speedy and chunky power metal with a definite harder edge than is the norm for this band. Darker and more "cinematic" in it's sound, it uses some aggressive vocals but still maintains the melodic edge. Going On uses a galloping style that gives the track the feel of Maiden's The Evil That Men Do whereas Alea Jacta gets back to the more epic and dramatic Kamelot edge with soaring melodic Sonata Arctica style vocals after an epic orchestrated intro entitled Julius Caesar. After an orchestrated prelude, entitled Through The Gates Of The Silver Key, The Silver Key kicks in with some nice melodic and speedy power metal. Neo-classical lead guitar interludes, speedy drumming and some great lead guitar harmonies round out the track. As a bonus track, they have included a solid Yngwie flavored power metal interpretation of Vivaldi's Winter, an instrumental from the great composer that was part of his monumental Four Seasons composition.

A well balanced effort, Dark Moor has attempted to broaden their style with this album. The speediness and orchestration really take a back seat in favor of a more melodic and mid-tempo heavy metal sound. All the tracks are solid with no real fillers but the one thing that's different with this album over the last one is the lack of any real killer tracks. Most of the songs here have great memorable choruses and it's a very good album with a great epic and dramatic sound. It's an album that I can highly recommend to fans of the band or to fans of this style of power metal but to casual power metal listeners, there are much better albums out there than this one. Dark Moor is still trying to find their niche with their new line-up and I really like the songs and the sound of this album but it just doesn't have enough killer tracks to give it a much higher score as an outstanding album. I'm really looking forward to what this band does in the future as all the elements are in place for them to blow us away with their next album......let's hope they do.....

Killing Songs :
Miracles, The Silver Key and Going On
Marty quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Dark Moor that we have reviewed:
Dark Moor - Project X reviewed by Joel and quoted 87 / 100
Dark Moor - Ars Musica reviewed by Andy and quoted 90 / 100
Dark Moor - Ancestral Romance reviewed by Kyle and quoted 88 / 100
Dark Moor - Autumnal reviewed by Erik and quoted 89 / 100
Dark Moor - Tarot reviewed by Marty and quoted 94 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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