The Moor – The Moor
It now seems fitting that I chose to review Sacrifice to Survive during our recent content contest, because I’ve lately been hearing more bands mixing in some modern elements to go along with the typical sound metalheads expect. Now, courtesy of Lion, I’m reviewing another such album. This one is pretty good, but with one major problem.
Sometimes I’ll hear an album, enjoy it while I’m in the process of listening to it, and then start to forget about it immediately after. This happened to me the first two times I heard The Moor, the self-titled 5 song EP that marks the debut of this band from Venice. I remembered some small details about the music and the singer’s voice along with the overall style of the band, but trying to remember full songs just wasn’t happening. It eventually ended up sticking after several attempts, but I think the problem is I was having a hard time getting excited about anything I was hearing, so my mind was being a bit lazy.
The big thing that really sticks out to me with this release is in terms of execution everything ranges from fairly good to outstanding (the production in particular is flawless), but while the songwriting is not bad at all, nothing really impresses me. I think it has the problem that a lot of modern bands do, in that it tries so hard to be so crisp and clean that there just isn’t much of a creative spark within the music. Most of it is rather laid back, with many slower sections that are clearly meant to be more accessible, while the more interesting heavy sections are limited to short bursts. The main genre is progressive metal, but along with all the modern/alternative influences that dominate most of the songs, there’s the occasional extreme metal section. Like a particular riff on “Before Abigail” that brings Opeth to mind, except there aren’t any harsh vocals here.
All the songs are fairly good, if unremarkable. Not much really stood out to me, but I’d say “Before Abigail” and “The Road” are probably the two I liked the most. Most songs are mid-tempo, with a mix between some slightly aggressive pieces and the calmer sections with modern trappings. Actually, the brief instrumental portions are heavier and are usually great, but the music isn’t as strong when the vocals enter. The lone ballad is “Venice”, which is nice, but as a fan of ballads I can’t say I expect anyone who doesn’t like them to be overly impressed.
The only real misfire of the album is “Antikythera”, where lead singer Enrico Longhin tries some awkward sounding heavy metal style screams which are very grating on the ears and really bring that song down. The riffs are also a bit chuggier than usual,and the whole song just isn’t good. Otherwise, Enrico is a fairly solid vocalist, with a pretty gruff voice at times. Although he does sing more pleasantly during the softer sections to maintain the level of accessibility. He occasionally tries to sound like how James Hetfield sounds on ballads, and this is when he’s at his worst, and starts to annoy me just a bit. Otherwise, I think he’s a solid singer who gets the job done, but neither improves the band nor makes them worse.
The Moor are definitely a talented band, and this debut EP is definitely good, but it just lacks anything that would really get me excited. Some brief sections are great, but overall I don’t think the band does much to separate themselves from other, often much more interesting bands doing something similar. Hopefully if they make a full length album they will find a way to make it more unique and interesting.
Travis Green’s Rating: 2.75 out of 5