Tuesday, 25 November 2014

ASTRAL DOORS – Notes From The Shadows (CD)

Astral Doors have been around for quite some time now and even though singer Patrik Johansson is now fronting post-Sabaton band Civil War, he still delivers the goods on the new Astral Doors release. He still puts on his best vocal Ronnie Dio suite, which I did have some problems with initially, but I’ve actually grown to like the guy. He’s also taken on a more personal approach and it’s become more of his own style now. Conclusion: I really like it! The musical delivery is also top notch. The track “Disciples Of The Dragon Lord” actually reminds me quite a lot of Accept, especially the powerful guitars and the “Balls To The Wall” style choir. This is a really good piece of classic hard rock/metal like they it’s supposed to be done. Power chords straight between the eyes, a wall of guitars, keyboards filling out the voids in the background, stomping drums and powerful vocals. “Wailing Wall” is a perfect example, and it also has an element of Jake E Lee style “Bark At The Moon” chugging. Great lead work from guitarist Joachim Nordlund!  Shadowchaser” has a riff way too reminiscent of “Man Of The Silver Mountain” for comfort, but ok, I’ll look away as the rest of the songs is no where close. “Die Alone” is a really great, epic and powerful song in the vein of UK band Tytan (probably my first comparison because I just listened to the excellent “Blind Men And Fools”). The intro riff of “Walker And Stalker” bears quite a big resemblance with the riff in Ozzy’s “Miracle Man”. It seems like Astral Doors have, quite deliberately, snuck in their influences in each of the songs. I have no problem with that. It does instead have its charm, since it’s only brief stuff here and there. This is a really good album indeed!
Janne Stark

Label: Metalville
Year: 2014
Country: Sweden
Link: www.astraldoors.com

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