Dark Moor - 'Project X'

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Dark Moor - 'Project X'

We now have a band who, for whatever reason, are desperately trying to sound like a theatrical version of Queen.

I've been a big fan of the Melodic, sometimes Symphonic, Metal that Spain's Dark Moor have played over the years. But this new Sci-Fi concept piece from the band entitled 'Project X', has left me, at times, scratching my head and wondering just what the band were trying to achieve when they recorded it.

I don't want to give totally the wrong (negative) impression because the music itself is very well played, but it's the way DM have almost totally reinvented themselves on 'Project...', that is the confusing thing. For some reason they have ditched their confident brand of Melodic Metal (something they have been working on for many, many years) and in its place we now have a band who, for whatever reason, are desperately trying to sound like a theatrical version of Queen?

Now this shouldn't be that big of a problem because if it works and they pull it off, then the world would be their oyster. Unfortunately, even after a half dozen listens and more, I still found myself only liking about one third of this release.

I will say that the musicianship and production found on 'Project...' are very good and songs such as 'Beyond The Stars' with its multi-layered keyboards, 'Bon Voyage!', 'The Existence', 'Abduction' and the dramatic eight minute plus 'There's Something In The Skies' all have their moments.
Yet the other tracks on the album left me cold and I just couldn't connect with this huge departure from the band's musical past. I found this left me, at times, longing for some heavier guitar work or for some more bombastic Metal to take over from DM's new Queen-like sound.

Maybe if Dark Moor continue to make albums in this Queen/West End Theatre musical style, I will get to like them and what they're now doing musically a little more. But I don't think I'll be alone in my worries that the band have gone a step to far too quickly with 'Project X'.

If you're a long-time fan still give this release a listen because it's for you to make up your own minds about the music. I do hope though that sometime in the future, I can put the band's past to one side and try and enjoy their present...time will tell.

Ian Johnson

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