Friar Blog: Astral Doors
Friday, November 4, 2011
Review of New Astral Doors Album from www.darkscene.at translated.
Astral Doors - Jerusalem (CD)
Album Rating: 8 out of 10.
Astral Doors have never really appeared on my radar (as opposed to my editorial colleagues). This was, not least, because of the band ‘s identity (based on the musicians on the album covers) being largely in the realms of the sprawling, faceless, Classic/Power/True/Bombast- Metal scene, though their excellent reputation is a strong indicator, but rather they were seen by me as an imitation of the classic, heavy rock-veterans and to me, acted like a cover band. This situation changed abruptly at this year's Bang Your Head Festival, when preparing for the Swedish quintet’s live set to come into my life. This happened with such vehemence that it was immediately apparent who wrote the review for the next release!
The Scandinavians are, truly, a gourmet appetizer for fans of traditional Hard Rock / Metal in the vein of later Black Sabbath, Rainbow and Deep Purple (mainly because of the formidable B3 Organ sound) with Ronnie James Dio as the front man. And this comparison is exaggerated in every way. Frontman Nils Patrik Johansson sounds almost exactly like the recently deceased vocalist and has a wicked vocal range as well! With a really great sound mix (provided by Daniel Bergstrand of In Flames, Meshuggah, etc.), Astral Doors have managed to create, on this, their 6th Album, a unique way of bridging the gap from classic, organic hard rock of the late 70’s/early 80’s side with the powerful, melodic, heavy metal of the present. They produce one enthralling song after another just like a grenade barrage.
The opening track "Seventh Crusade," or the quasi-Dio tribute "Child of Rock'n'Roll", etc. - no matter what track is played, the new album again contains no failures. In addition to the emotional power ballad ("Lost Crucifix"), uptempo catchy and earthy power numbers govern the new album, like the driving headbanger, "Operation Freedom".
Besides the weak album cover, there is not much else new from the camp of the Swedes. "Jerusalem," the album, again offers top-class material and every fan of the genre and of the above mentioned bands, should be rejoicing! Others may call it old fashioned, but anyone who misses Ronnie J. Dio here. experiences a crème de la crème déjà-vu one song after another that will send a shiver down your spine!
The Astral Friar
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