Type: CD Company: Locomotive Music Release: 2005 Genre: Traditional Reviewer: Eric Compton Published: 3/24/2005
This band will lead a whole new generation
The next big thing is here. Yeah, I know, TRUST me I know. I go through this about ever eight days or so but this time I really mean it. No, I really REALLY mean it this time. Astral Doors has delivered quite possibly one of the finest slabs of metal to come across my plate in the last ten years. I know I discussed Overlorde's "Return Of The Snow Giant" last year, making it out to be metal's savior, and it is. Now, 2005 is a brand new gate, a new opening in the ice, a crack in the frozen tundra wide enough to allow a huge sea monster to emerge, crashing through the barrier like a giant Lovecraft monstrosity. Astral Doors has arrived, and they proclaim loud and clear that evil is indeed forever. Heavy metal has a brand new captain folks and there is nothing any band out there can do about it.
Following in the wake of one of the finest debuts to ever emerge, "Evil Is Forever" rides on through the night with the same thought pattern clearly in place. To shake the very foundations of modern metal with an old school vibe of mammoth proportions. That is just what we get with this sophomore effort from Astral Doors, a Swedish band that has sparked quite a frenzy here in my little corner of the world. Conjuring up images of THE metal Gods, Astral Doors pay homage to their heroes by concentrating on traditional metal soundscapes. The major influences here are all present, from Dio to Sabbath, from Rainbow to Deep Purple, these guys are about classic metal, about strong vocals and majestic melody and mood. They go beyond the Maiden and Priest gallops into a whole new spectrum of metal entertainment. While so many bands will concentrate on new wave references, which isn't a bad thing by any means, this group goes to the very origins of metal to bring about their own creation.
With their debut "Sins Of The Father" in 2003, it was clearly evident that something magical was happening. At that particular point you fully understood that this band could easily become the next metal God, THE metal icon for this century. With a vocalist in the style of Dio and Tony Martin and songwriting and energy to captivate nearly every metal fan of every genre, the debut album stormed through eleven cuts of soon to be classic metal, with plenty of classic influences running rampant. Now the group return with the Locomotive Records release of "Evil Is Forever", taking the seeds that they have planted and growing an entire orchard filled with metal fruit. We are talking about giant leaps and bounds here, with this record solidifying the idea that Astral Doors is our metal saviors.
Recorded throughout three studios in Sweden, mixed at The Abyss studios, and produced by the band and the "Warlock" Peter Tagtgren (Hypocrisy, Pain), this release really focuses on the next step. The group takes all that they have learned through listening and performing classic metal and turned it into creative energy. At this point I would dare to say that Astral Doors has really picked up where Dio's "Last In Line" album left off. I can honestly say that they have created a better Dio album than the metal icon himself. But this isn't about imitation or recreation, they go beyond that. The individuals in this band understand identity and self worth, and they combine the sounds of Dio and Sabbath into a new realm of exploration. They mix in Swedish and German power, Finland's approach at melody, and a sturdy backbone of fantasy styled songwriting, going miles beyond what "torch lit" groups like Hammerfall and Dream Evil are doing. This is the real deal folks, for this band it is about becoming your own superstar, they have really filled the footsteps of metal's icons and heroes. I'll keep using the word icon because that is what Astral Doors has become. It is plain and simple. And with one listen of "Evil Is Forever" you will understand too.
You can be your own judge, but trust me, your metal advisor and consultant, Astral Doors are everything you have wanted in a metal band. With a handful of powerful "rookies", this band will lead a whole new generation. They are that damn good.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has served as senior editor for MaximumMetal.com for nearly 10 years and is the author of the heavy metal book series--Denim & Letters. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia.
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