Genre: Heavy Metal
Release Date EU: April 28th, 2017
Nils Patrik Johansson – Vocals
Joachim Nordlund– Guitars
Mats Gesar – Guitars
Jocke Roberg – Keyboards
Johan Lindstedt – Drums
Ulf Lagerstroem – Bass
We Cry Out
God Is the Devil
Die on Stage
Good vs Bad
Slaves to Ourselves
Black Eyed Children
Jesus Christ Movie Star
Three years after having unveiled the “Notes from the Shadows”, Swedish metal outfit Astral Doors comes back with a new longplayer. The eighth studio album is entitled “Black Eyed Children” and features eleven new songs.
It’s no secret that the Swedish quintet is heavily influenced by classic rock and metal. Bands like Rainbow, Dio and Whitesnake are sources of inspiration and sometimes even a bit more. Astral Doors embeds these references into their sound and it’s the voice of singer Nils Johansson that strengthens them even more. He’s a great singer that comes with a vocal range that covers a width from Ronnie James Dio to David Coverdale.
If you liked the band’s earlier releases you can also look forward to this album because it will lead you to another state of euphoria. The guys from Borlänge loaded the album with eleven metal songs of which each them lives up to the typical Astral Doors sound.
The up-tempo “We Cry Out” marks the first peak on the album. Johansson sings at his best, enriching a song that reminds of the good old Dio days. A more silent beginning introduces you to “Walls” which is slowly building up to a well-done melodic rocker. Astral Doors cherishes classic rock and metal without just copying things. They add their own touch to songs like the wild and furious “Good vs. Bad”.
I mentioned David Coverdale earlier in this review and if you listen to “Suburban Song” you know what I’m talking about. Especially the verse sounds very much Whitesnake inspired.
The longest tune is also the album’s name giver. “Black Eyed Children” gives you seven minutes of nicely done heavy metal that includes a bombastic expression too. It’s a powerful track in more mid-tempo, climaxing in an awesome chorus. For me the best track on the album.
To conclude: Astral Doors added an album to their discography that reflects exactly what’s expected – traditional fine-crafted metal that finds it’s roots in the 80’s, with all the glory that comes with it.
Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann