"You'll like this. Great band," said that nice Mr Pardo as he flung this one in my direction and he's right on both counts. Having been around now since 2002 it's probably a good time to have a recap of how the career's going thus far for the band and a chance to draw a line under this initial period before continuing down a new path. Let us not forget, however, with our cynical hat on that it is a cheap way for the record company to eke out some more money from the band without much effort. Part of the effort that has been put in is the previously unreleased "Victory" which, as is often the case with unreleased tracks, could have easily remained unreleased to be honest.
That said there's much good material on offer as you'd hope (it is a best of collection after all.) It would be very easy to glibly dismiss Astral Doors as a product of their influences. These would be Dio, Black Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow, Dio, Deep Purple and of course, Ronnie James Dio. That's right they sound a bit (a lot) like Dio. This is, of course, always a good thing and fortunately Astral Doors write excellent songs that help them to stand out from the many Dio facsimiles out there.
Testament of Rock shows all that is good about both the band and the type of metal they play. The twin guitars courtesy of Joachim Nordlund and Martin Haglund keep the interest levels high throughout whilst Jon Lord, sorry, Jocke Roberg, add texture and depth to the sound. The star of the show though is lead singer Nils Patrik Johansson who delivers a number of performances that his hero would be proud of.
2. Time To Rock
3. Of The Son And The Father
4. Black Rain' (remixed and remastered)
5. Power And The Glory
6. Bride Of Christ
7. New Revelation
8. Slay The Dragon
9. London Caves' (remixed and remastered)
10. Evil Is Forever
13. Testament Of Rock
14. Victory' (Previously Unreleased)