Dark Moor - Tarot
Scarlet Records
Epic / Symphonic Melodic Power Metal
11 songs (56'59)
Release year: 2007
Dark Moor, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Marty
Album of the month
With Dark Moor's last album Beyond The Sea, it seemed like a small step backward in the progress of this Spanish symphonic power metal band. Only the second album to feature the new line-up including new vocalist Alfred Romero, it was full of excellent performances but was really lacking in killer songs. I stated at the end of the review for that CD that it seemed like all the elements were now in place for this band and with improvements in the song writing, they were quite capable of blowing us away with their next album. As they say "It must've been in the cards" as not only has Dark Moor delivered easily the best album of their career with Tarot, it is also a concept album based on the enigmas of the arcanes and the characters/symbols in the various cards of the tarot card deck.

The Magician begins the album with it's dark and foreboding orchestrated qualities before we get hit with track after track of some of the best symphonic epic power metal that I've heard since Kamelot's The Black Halo. Chanting vocals by Alfred Romero doubled up with the female voice of Manda Ophius are used extensively throughout this album giving it an amazing melodic sense and an even more epic sound over previous work. The Chariot and The Emperor are the best examples of the effectiveness of the male/female vocal harmonies. The Chariot is more of a mid-tempo track with some speedy elements whereas The Emperor has more of the classic Euro power metal speediness. Striking Kamelot similarities can be seen with The Star and Devil In The Tower as well as the more laid back mid-tempo semi-ballad Lovers. Not only does Alfred Romero's voice sound like Roy Khan's (Kamelot) but the vocal melodies, amazing choruses and overall sound and arrangements remind me a lot of Kamelot's work over their last several albums. Neo-classical elements dominate tracks like Wheel Of Fortune as well as the previously mentioned Devil In The Tower with wild and speedy guitar and keyboard riffs. Death and The Hanged Man crank up the octane bit more with a more aggressive power metal tone and with wild and frenzied orchestrations, the mood and atmosphere and excitement that these tracks create is simply outstanding. With The Moon, Dark Moor has cleverly written verses and vocal melodies to accompany their arrangement of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. This 10 minute opus takes the listener on an amazing musical journey of intensity and melody that shows just how brilliantly classical music and heavy metal can be melded together to create something very special. As a bonus track, we get the speedy and melodic track entitled The Fool.

Special mention must be made to the guitar work of Enrik Garcia as his riffs and precise yet very melodic lead style really push the music on this album to new heights. Almost every track has constant changes in tempo, melody and mood that shatter any semblance of predictability, which plagues many bands in the power metal genre. Alfred Romero delivers the vocal performance of his life and with Tarot, this album should finally push Dark Moor into the upper echelon of power metal bands. Huge soaring choruses and a very high quality epic symphonic power metal sound is something that Dark Moor has always been striving to achieve and they've finally nailed it. I just listened to Kamelot's The Black Halo the other day and while it really put some distance between themselves and other power metal bands, the gap is closing in with the release of Tarot. Fans of the Kamelot style of epic/symphonic power metal but with a little more of the Euro power metal speediness are going to eat this up...it's that good. Kamelot is due for a new album this summer and it will be very interesting to see how it matches up to Dark Moor's Tarot. Competition is great in any aspect of life as it pushes people and brings out their best and with this new album, Dark Moor has served notice that it has it's sights on the top of the heap, a position that Kamelot may just have a hard time hanging on to.

Killing Songs :
Everything but especially The Chariot, The Star, Wheel Of Fortune, The Emperor and Devil In The Tower
Marty quoted 94 / 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 - Beyond The Sea reviewed by Marty and quoted 79 / 100
To see all 12 reviews click here
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