5 years is a long time in terms of how much a band can mutate and its music revamped. Such is the space of time that has lapsed since The Moor debuted with the “Year Of The Hunger” album. So what changes does this cryptically-titled “Jupiter’s Immigrants” contain?
Well, first let’s look at what has not changed. The band is still true to their name – in other words the music still has a strong affinity with Swedish masters Opeth (‘The Moor’ is the title of an epic song by Opeth). Therefore we have an overarching dark gothic mood that swathes all the music. Within that exist several hallmarks of Progressive Metal – something present in both The Moor’s aforementioned debut as well as this sophomore album. In fact I’d say the Prog traits have become even more pronounced in this release.
So, for instance, there are Death Metal growls that alternate with vocals that are predominantly clean, numerous tempo swings, a honed level of technical finesse and a certain depth within the themes covered. On the subject of musical development, I must add, this album is less melodic but darker and sometimes more psychedelic than its predecessor.
Andrea Livieri has replaced original guitarist Davide Carraro and I’m surprised at the excellent quality of several guitar solos in this album. In this respect ‘Inception’ and ‘The Alarmist’ immediately spring to mind. After all Livieri has been a close friend of The Moor for many years so it’s no surprise he has fitted in well with the band. The album’s essence owes a lot to founding member Enrico Longhin (lead vocals and guitar) but I confess I sometimes found myself tiring of his effects-laden but restrictive ‘clean’ singing. Luckily that’s probably the only gripe I have.
The sound quality of “Jupiter’s Immigrants” is top-notch and for this credit is due to Enrico, Andrea and sound engineer Fredrik Nordström (Dream Evil, Arch Enemy, At The Gates, Dimmu Borgir, Devian, Evergrey, Illdisposed, Hammerfall and countless others). Singers Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity) and Niklas Isfeldt (Dream Evil) make guest appearances in the album – Dark Tranquillity, in particular, still seem to be a strong influence on The Moor.
Another factor I cannot fail to mention is that the songwriting of The Moor has matured considerably and each song in “Jupiter’s Immigrants” seems to have its own personality. Amongst these, ‘The Alarmist’ is one of my favourite tracks – the song opens with some furious blastbeats, courtesy of Alberto Businari, which are fleshed out by bassist Massimo Cocchetto and punctuated by some tight-sounding guitar riffs.
On an aesthetic level, I also liked the front artwork very much – it was created by Niklas Sundin (In Flames, Arch enemy, At The Gates, Sentenced, Monnspell, et al).
So “Jupiter’s Immigrants” is a hive of activity and repeated spins might be required for it all to seep in. Don’t let that discourage you though.
I. Lead The Difference
II. Jupiter’s Immigrants (feat. Mikael Stanne)
III. The Profiteer
IV. Thousand Miles Away
VII. Odin Vs Jesus
VIII. The Alarmist
IX. Dark Ruler (feat. Niklas Isfeldt)
Playing Time: 42:34
Enrico Longhin – vocals, guitars
Alberto Businari - drums
Massimo Cocchetto - bass
Andrea Livieri - guitars