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Astral Doors – Jerusalem

Label: Metalville
Format: CD download
Released: 2012
Reviewed By: Rich Catino
Rating: 9/ 10


On their sixth studio album, Astral Doors continue crafting traditional fantasy themed heavy metal following in the footsteps of Dio (predominately), Black Sabbath (Tony Martin era which is cool) and Rainbow. ‘Seventh Crusade’, the drum driven quick paced ‘With A Stranger’s Eyes’, and ‘Child Of Rock n Roll’ all instantly bring to mind Dio and “Holy Diver”/”The Last In Line”, as well as more recent albums like “Killing The Dragon”. It’s not just in the type of riffs and arrangements, but even more so singer Niles Patrik Johansson’s tone, at times scary how much he sounds like Ronnie Dio. So anyone looking for someone from the next generation to respectfully carry out the music of Dio’s legacy without deliberately copying then check out Astral Door’s catalogue.

 

Really like Rainbowish keyboard touches during the heavy riff/bottom ended ‘Lost Crucifix’ and ‘Babylon Rise’. ‘The Battle Of Jacob’s Ford’ is slower, riff heavy, nicely done and all Tony Martin Sabbath, around ”Headless Cross”/”TYR” albums, an underappreciated and overlooked period in Black Sabbath that I’m glad has influenced and can be heard in current music. I also like during ‘Ballad Of Jacob’s Ford’ the way Niles switches and balances between a rougher and melodic vocal. Very well placed twin guitar harmonies and soloing in ‘Operation Freedom’ and use of keyboards to add mood for the title track.

Good stuff that recalls the golden era of heavy metal from the 80s.

 
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