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ASTRAL DOORS New Revelation Locomotive Records (2007)

Astral Doors return with another cracking album full of metal anthems that recall the glory days of Dio, early Rainbow and bring the sound bang up to date. The title track and opening song on this CD is pure class.

Galloping riffs, an immense vocal from Patrik Johansson (Wuthering Heights/Lion's Share) makes you want to grab your broadsword and shield and march into battle! The next track 'Freedom War' keeps the frantic pace going with lots of guitars and subtle keyboard/organ touches. There is a touch of Whitesnake riffing in 'Pentecostal Bound', although vocally Johansson does sound uncannily light Ronnie James Dio at times. 'Bastard Son' brings the tempo down a touch and allows guitarists Martin Haglund and Joachim Nordlund to strut their stuff.

The album drops slightly towards the end but the closing track 'Mercenary Man' brings the album back into 'must have' status. After a organ intro (sounding like a Sunday morning in a church!) the band launches into a heavy frenzy with all the band playing at the top of their game.

There are many power metal bands out there vying for your attention but Astral Doors should be top of your list if you like Dio, Rainbow era Dio and more modern bands like Blind Guardian and Intense.


Review by Jason Ritchie

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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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