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Astral Doors: Evil is Forever

Holy Diver Batman! Sweden's Astral Doors have put together a fun slice of late 70's/early 80's metal nostalgia here with Evil is Forever. With a singer named Sir Nils Patrik Johansson who sounds exactly like Ronnie James Dio, lots of crunchy guitar riffs, and plenty of symphonic keyboards, these guys will fill the need if you clamor for the early sounds of bands like Dio, Rainbow, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, or Magnum. Sure, there's no originality here, but damn if I didn't find myself banging my head to the driving anthem "From the Cradle to the Grave", with its catchy vocal melodies, raging Hammond, and flashy guitar solos, or the supercharged "Time to Rock", which could have been a leftover from Dio's Holy Diver or Last in Line albums. The band hits you with chugging riffs and complex keyboard work on the intense "Bride of Christ", a real barnburner track that will appeal to fans of Sea of Light era Uriah Heep. "The Flame" is a symphonic progressive metal piece that reminded me of Dio-era Rainbow, with plenty of fiery harmonies between keyboard player Joakim Roberg and guitarists Joachim Nordlund & Martin Haglund. The real treat though is the moody and majestic closer "Path to Delerium", a slow burner with plenty of keys, doomy guitar riffs, and Johansson's soaring vocals. Think Black Sabbath's "Sign of the Southern Cross" meets Dio's "Egypt" meets Rainbow's "Catch the Rainbow" meets Magnum's "On a Story Teller's Night".

If you are a fan of the era I've spoken about above, you'll find many reasons to spin this CD over and over again. It's all here folks, killer instrumentation, powerful vocals, driving rhythms, and melodies galore. It's the best CD Ronnie James Dio hasn't made in years.

Track Listing
1. Bride Of Christ
2. Time To Rock
3. Evil Is Forever
4. Lionheart
5. Praise The Bones
6. Pull The Break
7. Fear In Their Eyes
8. Stalingrad
9. From The Cradle To The Grave
10. The Flame
11. Path To Delirium

Added: July 24th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3617
Language: english

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