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Astral Doors: Astralism

Astral Doors have quickly followed up the excellent 2005 release Evil is Forever with the equally impressive Astralism. On this fourth album from the band, Astral Doors once again channel the spirit of bands like Dio, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, Whitesnake, and Magnum, complete with crunchy guitars, raging Hammond organ and synths, piledriver rhythms, and histrionic vocals. In fact, singer Patrick Johansson sure has one set of pipes, recalling Ronnie James Dio at his best as well as David Coverdale.

I found myself totally taken back to a vintage Rainbow frame of mind on tunes like "Israel", "Vendetta", "Raiders of the Ark", and "Black Rain", while "EVP" and "Tears From a Titan" bring to mind Holy Diver era Dio but with a heaping amount of organ, synths, and Mellotron. The closing mini-epic "Apocalypse Revisited" is about as powerful and dramatic as you can get, featuring thick guitar riffs, power metal drums, and walls of keyboards, with Johansson's vocals soaring over the top.

Honestly, I loved the metal and hard rock sounds of the 70's and early 80's, so forgive me if I'm gushing a bit, but this is some really good stuff here. Astral Doors hit all those vintage sounds but with a modern touch, making Astralism one hell of an enjoyable listen and sure to be a pick for my long list of favorites of 2006.

Track Listing
1. EVP
2. Black Rain
3. London Caves
4. From Satan With Love
5. Fire In Our House
6. Israel
7. Raiders Of The Ark
8. Tears From A Titan
9. Oliver Twist
10. Vendetta
11. The Green Mile
12. In Rock We Trust
13. Apocalypse Revisited

Added: May 31st 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Astral Doors Website
Hits: 3733
Language: english

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