Dark Moor - Ars Musica (2013)

One of strongest name in neo-classical / symphonic metal, here comes again Dark Moor. This time is their ninth studio album, Ars Musica, readily in June 2013. First, I like the cover artwork. It's inspiring, a child playing violin in abandoned rooftop storage room. So, that's the first impression on this album, Dark Moor to once again leading us to their imaginative musical adventure. The styles dominating this release is still the same, symphonic and neo-classical influence metal, bombastic and a guitar shred experiences.

The intro, fully orchestrated Ars Musica, is a promising start, readily to spoiled symphonic-head with a guarantee bombastic power metal. Prepared for upcoming blast, is First Lance of Spain. The intro riff + orchestration layer is one of Dark Moor's best trademark for nearly 20 years. So Alfred Romero come in front of the mic, together with ex-Kamelot Roy Khan, he seems to share the same voice timbre, a standard in power metal. Coming more anthemic is This is My Way, for a second this is sounds like a metalized AOR tunes. Which is making this even more emotional effect for the song. Interestingly, this approach continued to The Road Again. Is this the new, rather tame, melodic metal of new Dark Moor? Only now, the intensity slowly rise again, until we met The City of Peace, which is again a melodic metal with good song writing. Gara & Jonay comes as a ballad, where a piano charmingly accompanying Alfred Romero in the style of '80 metal ballad. Now that we passed five 'slower' tempo songs, Living in a Nightmare is put the pace back to metal. As in tradition, Dark Moor throw in a neo-classical licks to their arsenal, something like Rimsky-Korsakov's Bumblebee - like melody. The next song, El último rey comes with native language lyric, an opera house feel. We then have the last song Asturias in a good neo-classical, Phrygian theme, instrumental climax. Two more bonuses tracks with different music theme and we finished.

Sure we can count Dark Moor for the loudest symphonic metal. But I feel Ars Musica is a bit of leaning to their melodic part, as half of the album seems like a calm down. Ars Musica still feel much more bombastic than to their last album, Ancestral Romance. Ars Musica having wider variety for good, especially with acoustic version of The Road Again (which I am reminded to DragonForce's Season). Not an album you would like to skip, if Symphonic Metal is your stuff.

Metal Harem class: ********* nine stars out of ten

Dark Moor - Ars Musica (2013)
Buy It Here - AMAZON

1. Ars Musica (2:05)
2. First Lance of Spain (4:57)
3. This is my Way (4:09)
4. The Road Again (4:32)
5. Together as Ever (4:43)
6. The City of Peace (4:00)
7. Gara & Jonay (4:16)
8. Living in a Nightmare (4:12)
9. El último rey (5:07)
10. Saint James' Way (3:59)
11. Asturias (5:22)
12. The Road Again (Acoustic Version) (Bonus Track) (2:37)
13. Living in a Nightmare (Orchestral Version) (Bonus Track) (4:11)

Alfred Romero - Vocals
Enrik Garcia - Guitars
Roberto Cappa - Drums
Mario García González - Bass
Record Label: Scarlet Records

Dark Moor with their latest symphonic metal album, Ars Musica, album review

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