Black Moor survives and conquers

The Halifax metal band turned the volatile aftermath of a life-threatening car accident into their victorious new album, The Conquering

In the four years that Black Moor has been together, the band has opened for some impressive acts (Anthrax's Joey Belladonna, Priestess, Rammer, Cauldron), built up a ravenous fan base, gotten into a life-threatening car accident and then built it all back up again with a new album, The Conquering. All before their 22nd birthdays.

Made up of Nick Jones (lead guitar), Eric Hanlin (vocals and guitar), Sylvain Coderre (drums) and Rob Nickerson (bass), Black Moor's members have been friends for years and are clearly having fun with the band, but for such a young group, they've had their share of obstacles.

A car accident last June set the band back for months. The group was on its way back from a show in Montreal when another vehicle collided with them and left Coderre with his leg broken in three places, broken toes, broken jaw, lacerated skull and spleen.

"It took six months to get to the point where we could practice for 20 minutes," says Jones.

"The initial prognosis was that he couldn't play again at all," says Nickerson.

They also had some problems getting along after the crash. "I was on crutches and was irritated by absolutely everything," says Coderre. Jones almost left the band, and Coderre and Hanlin were forced to move when their Dartmouth home deteriorated into a party house beyond their control. Nicknamed "The Slaughter Shack," it was the band's practice space and sometime venue. "Our rehearsals would turn into shows. There would be 15 people standing around or sitting on couches," says Hanlin. "I'd go to get something off my amp and someone would be rolling a joint on it."

"A lot of the reason there was all that tension was probably because there was too many people around," says Jones.

"We're using what happened before to fuel us now," says Hanlin. "Hence, The Conquering."

The album's clean production, wailing guitar harmonies and classic lyrics have prompted glowing advance reviews, with good reason. While Black Moor aren't re-inventing the wheel---this is a band that clearly loves Iron Maiden, Megadeth and Metallica---they're able to transform their inspirations into something fresh.

After the album release (pre-order is available through Diminished Fifth until August 21 and in stores August 25), Black Moor heads out for a week in September with Colorado's Fear Before and Ontario's Baptized in Blood.

"Our first legit tour with booking agent and guarantees," says Nickerson. This year they're tied to short regional tours as Nickerson finishes law school. Beyond that, it's wide open.

"Right now we're just like a boil, and we're pulsating a bit on the knee," says Hanlin. "We want to get the whole leg so bad that it has to get cut right off. That's our plan, take the world's leg right off."