My last encounter with Sweden's Astral Doors was 2007's New Revelation, a significant advancement over the previous, and horrible sounding, Astralism. Then, 2010's Requiem of Time passed under my radar. So now I'm playing catch up with this year's Jerusalem.
Above, Astral Doors: bro-hugs for everyone.
Expect trademark Astral Doors: melodic heavy and power metal with big hooks, and Patrik Johansson raspy yet soaring vocals. (And, no, I still don't think he sounds like Ronnie James Dio.) Expect also the similar lyrical themes of history (Pearl Harbor), warfare (Operation Freedom, The Battle of Jacob's Ford), rock (Child of Rock N Roll), and general anti-religion, especially against Christianity, expositions (Seventh Crusade, Jerusalem).
To the music once more, Jerusalem seems a return to earlier material, heavy yet melodic, intense but also accessible. Sometimes, especially listening to Child of Rock N Roll, Pearl Harbor, Suicide Rime, or Babylon Rise, Astral Doors seems to be channeling melodic hard rock, with a nice groove, but a serious metal edge. Then heavy/power metal, notably in a more epic form, appears to be the essence of the longer tracks Lost Crucifix, The Battle of Jacob's Ford, and Jerusalem. Here they share a kinship with classic heavy metal brethern like Dio and Iron Maiden.
Fundamentally, Jerusalem is signature Astral Doors, equivalent to their best material, but also remarkably the same. Consistency and constancy aren't the worst characteristics for a band to have. Fans, especially, should dig this new album. Recommended.
Jerusalem is signature Astral Doors, equivalent to their best material, but also remarkably the same. Consistency and constancy aren't the worst characteristics for a band to have. Fans, especially, should dig this new album.
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