The Moor - Jupiter's Immigrants
Self released
Melodic Death Metal
9 songs (42'39")
Release year: 2018
Reviewed by Alex

When I read that Italians The Moor list Dark Tranquillity as some of their main influences, moreover, when they had their album produced by Fredrik Nordstrom and Mikael Stanne guests on Jupiter’s Immigrants, I had to hear who and how plays the music Mikael Stanne is willing to guest for.

It is true that Jupiter’s Immigrants have definitive melodic death influences, but it is also true that The Moor pile a whole bunch of everything else in their music. There are elements of gothic, progressive, alternative, you name it here. Normally I am all for mixing up the styles in one big blender, but have to say The Moor did not always click with me. Mainly, however, if Dark Tranquillity are the band’s role models, the Swedes possess an absolute uncanny ability to deliver things starkly and bitterly, and then come up with moments of clarity bordering on catharsis. Whatever big names and famous studios The Moor used on Jupiter’s Immigrants I can’t shake the feeling of muddiness in place of harshness, yet their sound does not project dark stoicism and exposes the soft underbelly at the same time. Moreover, soft or harsh, clean or dirty, I did not experience catharsis when listening to this album.

To be sure there are harmonies on Jupiter’s Immigrants (like in Lead the Difference) or beats (opening of Odin vs Jesus) so characteristic of what modern day Dark Tranquillity would do. But the aforementioned lack of clarity in the delivery, or bobbing between styles without an apparent reason constantly distracts. It is especially strange with clean singing over downtuned chords in The Profiteer, or increasing the noise density level in Enthroned and then all of a sudden switching from groove to heavy riffs in the song. Odin vs Jesus is almost the biggest culprit. The Moor definitely have a story to tell here, but moving the vocals from gothic to something harsh vocaled to few screams here and there, all buried in the dense fabric of guitars, there is just no focus to the song. I actually don’t mind The Moor staying on point with more gothic trappings, harder (The Alarmist) or softer (Dark Ruler), or being cosmic and expansive (Thousand Miles Away). Gothic croons is much more the strength of Enrico Longhin than trying to imitate Stanne. And speaking of the production, only the Master himself could struggle and deliver tough lines on the title track against the dense tapestry The Moor threw at him otherwise.

The album actually does grow on you the 2nd and 3rd time through. You learn to anticipate all of the switches and know what to expect. You start noticing quality guitar work, extended and well harmonized solos (title track, The Alarmist). I know I may have prejudged myself (and possibly the reader) with comparisons, and The Moor needs to be regarded as its own entity. Jupiter’s Immigrants is far from being an unlistenable mess, but being a little more streamlined can actually deliver a more successful (including commercially) product for the band.

Killing Songs :
Kind of hard to pick, but maybe The Alarmist followed by Lead the Difference and the title track
Alex quoted 68 / 100
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