I was severly disappointed with Astral Door's 2006 release, 'Astralism.' The production was horrible; Nils Patrik Johansson's vocals sounded like the Swamp Thing drowning in mud, and the rest of the band didn't sound any better. The tragedy is that the songs were great. But, I could barely listen to the album. Thankfully, this year's 'New Revelation' is a return to the greatness of previous works. The compositions, muscianship, and production exceed my best expectations.
Mr. Johansson's vocals are crystal clear. Johansson sings with strength and emotion; obviously he owns these songs. He excels on 'Bastard Son' and 'Pentecostal Bound.' More importantly, his delivery is more varied than ever before: take note of 'Waiting For The Master.' Comparisons of Johansson's style should no longer be made to Ronni James Dio (or Tony Martin, for that matter) for he has come into his signature style. Mr. Johansson is quickly becoming one the best metal singers on the planet.
And the songs are quinessential melodic heavy metal thrown in for good measure. The rhythm section seems to have kicked it up a notch and the guitar combination of Joachim Nordlund and Martin Haglund boils with enthusiasm and creativity. Check out the aforementioned 'Bastard Son,' and also 'Planet Earth,' 'Cold War Survivor,' and the excellent finale, 'Mercenary Man,' which reminds me of a refreshing mix of Dio and Maiden.
I'm happy to see Astral Doors reborn in a 'New Revelation.' These guys are very, very good. And this is great melodic heavy metal. Astral Doors could truly be the future of the next generation of heavy metal. A terrific album and definite buy!
I'm happy to see Astral Doors reborn in a 'New Revelation.' These guys are very, very good. And this is great melodic heavy metal. Astral Doors could truly be the future of the next generation of heavy metal.
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