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Articles Home » 2005 Articles » Astral Doors - 2005 Evil Is Forever
 
Astral Doors - 2005 Evil Is Forever



ARTIST: Astral Doors
ALBUM: Evil Is Forever
LABEL: Locomotive Music
SERIAL: LM199
YEAR: 2005

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Nils Patrik Johansson - vocals * Joachim Nordlund - guitars * Martin Haglund - bass * Jocke Roberg - keyboards * Johan Lindstedt - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Bride Of Christ * 02 Time To Rock * 03 Evil Is Forever * 04 Lionheart * 05 Priase The Bones * 06 Pull The Break * 07 Fear In Their Eyes * 08 Stalingrad * 09 From The Cradle To The Grave * 10 The Flame * 11 Path To Delirium

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.astraldoors.com


Background
Another Swedish powerhouse takes form with the five-piece metal outfit Astral Doors. Cool name, cool imagery, and embellishing the reputation of an already over-subscribed metal scene happening up in Scandanavia. Oh well, if the viking hordes were on the rampage a millenia ago, then the tradition continues, whereby axes and swords are replaced by guitars and drumsticks. Mind you, some of us would say they are one and the same, just a different era!! 'Evil Is Forever' is the bands second effort. 'Of The Father And The Son' being their debut two years previous. The band are fronted by heavy-as-horses vocalist Nil Patrik Johansson. This guy is a cross between Jorn Lande and Ronnie James Dio. Chuck in some Tony Martin as well and you have three rolled into one. You can hear Johansson on Richard Andersson's Space Odyssey albums as well. Astral Doors are the reincarnation of several 70's/80's bands that have been reborn in the 21st Century. The production is full, modern, while the musicanship, though heavy as anything throughout this album, retains those touches that made outfits like Rainbow and 80's era Dio such big hits. Listening to this album it's hard not to pass a comparison to anything that the little powerhouse Ronnie James Dio has ever done. In fact, this is probably the best Dio album that Ronnie has not been involved in!


The Songs
Though the band wear their influences on their sleeve, it is hard to ignore sonic bursts such as 'Time To Rock' and the blistering opener 'Bride Of Christ'. Even a track such as 'Pull The Break' gives the metronome a run for its money, the songtitle doing anything else but! Acoustic guitars preface both 'Lionheart' and 'Stalingrad', before the onset of the familiar metallic rush hits the speakers. 'Lionheart' I'm sure is one track that former Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell could play blind-folded! 'From The Cradle To The Grave' features a whole heap of attributes from yesteryear. The lyrical similarities bordering on rip-off, plus that ever-present Hammond organ underpinning the track. 'The Flame' meanwhile mixes Dio like intensity with Iron Maiden like tempo. Probably a comparable duo when undertaking a history lesson in 80's metal.


In Summary
Despite appearing on the small Spanish based label Locomotive, this is an admirable release. Thankfully you couldn't compare these guys to the deluge of progressive metal releases coming out of Scandanavia. This is closer to traditional HM, perhaps closer in style to the likes of Dream Evil and Hammerfall. People will either love these guys or loathe them. Thank god they don't incur the same sort of wrath as Lenny Wolf and Kingdom Come do among Led Zeppelin fans. However, I am sure that Dio fans will be as equally bemused or aggrieved after listening to Astral Doors. Whatever the fact, this is a band with enough clout and enthusiasm to hang in there for a good wee while.


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