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   ASTRAL DOORS
Evil Is Forever
2005
Locomotive Records
http://www.astraldoors.com


rating: 5/5

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

Actually, Astral Doors from Sweden was gonna be some kind of tribute project, to play music in style of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple or Rainbow. But soon after the debut album "Of The Son And The Father" in 2003, it was clear that a real band was born from the tribute thought. So now the second album named "Evil Is Forever" is out february 7th, and the music and the mood is darker than before.

And they start kinda fast with "Bride Of Christ", a song that is dominated by the huge voice of Patrik Johansson (Wuthering Heights, Space Odyssey) who is often compared to the great voice of Ronnie James Dio, and justifiably so!! Unfortunately, the opener is much too short, but more great music is to come. "Time To Rock" is the next song which is more groovy, and the songwriting reminds of Dio as well. The titletrack starts with a keybboard-intro from the 70s, straight guitars follow. The groovy and catchy chorus is again dominated by Johansson, a great song! "Lionheart" is a faster song, again a good one, whereas the beginning of "Praise The Bones" is a bit unusual someone is listening to the radio searching for the right frequency. Of course it can be found and then the song is as good as the others. It should be mentioned that the keyboard during the chorus reminds a bit of "Rainbow In The Dark" by..well, you know who! ;-) "Pull The Break" is again a faster track where straight riffing meets outstanding vocals that sound different in the chorus. The metric makes the syllables sound staccato, a different aspect in Johansson's great voice. Again a bit different are the vocals at the mid-tempo-song "Fear In Their Eyes" because the voice has to sing in deeper tunes. "Stalingrad" starts off with acoustic guitars but the electrics join in soon, and the dark and oppressive song begins. That mood carries on, and also the voice sounds a bit wailing. Some progressive elements can be found on "From The Cradle To The Grave", again the 70s-keyboard attends the song which can't quite catch up with the level of the songs before. "The Flame" begins unexpected, with high guitar-tunes, again some prog-elements can be heard. Everything is right here, a fast song that makes the listener bang the head! And last but not least there is the "Path To Delirium", almost seven minutes long and the longest track on the CD. A spoken intro with threatening slow and dark guitars waiting in the background. The dark mood carries on throughout the whole song, that developps into a slogging song, where Johansson shows the wide range of his voice.
Oh, and please forgive me for not mentioning the other band members but the voice is standing in the middle, especially here. But the CD is played by the whole band!

Finally I can only say that the fans of the mentioned bands can buy the CD without thinking, for they will find "their" music in modern clothes. But "Evil Is Forever" is a must-have-record for all those who like straight heavy metal!!

submitted by Paddy 06.02.2005

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