Astral Doors
Notes From the Shadows

1.The Last Temptation of Christ
2. Disciples of the Dragon Lord
3. Wailing Wall
4. Shadowchaser
5. Die Alone
6. Hoodoo Ceremony
7. Southern Conjuration
8. Walker the Stalker
9. Desert Nights
10.In the Name of Rock
11. Confessions

Patrik Johansson - vocals
Joachim Nordlund - guitars
Joakim Roberg - organ
Ulf Lagerstroem - bass
Johan Lindstedt - drums

Of the Son and the Father (2003)
Evil Is Forever (2005)
Raiders of the Ark - EP (2005)
Astralism (2006)
New Revelation (2007)
Requiem Of Time (2010)
Testament of Rock (2010)

Jerusalem (2011)


Mixed and mastered at the Black Lounge Studio in Grangärde by Jonas Kjellgren

Released 2014-08-29
Reviewed 2014-08-06

Astral Doors article from 2014



Once again we are peeking through the astral doors and once again we get what we expect from the band but maybe not when looking at the name. Many classic band names are thrown around when Astral Doors comes up in conversation, even the band themselves compares themselves with band like Black Sabbath and Rainbow when describing their music. And from the interview with Nils Patrik Johansson I learnt that we could expect business as usual when confronting the seventh album of Astral Doors. It is called Notes From the Shadows and is said to be showing a little darker side, really nice cover artwork, kind of a classic look to it.

Imagine Ritchie Blackmore being forty years younger and forming his Rainbow today, also imagine the same about Iommi and the Black Sabbath guy and then crossbreed them into a hybrid. That is what you get, classic hardrock of the seventies updated to today’s standards. It has always been that way with Astral Doors and it still is, the differences between their albums are miniscule. Eleven tracks and fifty minutes, classic rock tracks with the focus more on choruses and melodies than on rough edged heaviness. Another thing one has to deal with when looking at this band’s musical style is the singer, who is fairly often compared with the late great Ronnie James Dio. I keep reading that on wikipedia and in some reviews, I can see why some would say it but I can not agree with it. It is like the similarity between a cat and an elephant or James Hetfield and Elvis, they are all mammals. I would say that this is a good production and the singer suits some of the songs really well.

No surprises. That is a good description of this album. It is good but so was Jerusalem, and this being the third Astral Doors album I review for Hallowed, I still find myself giving the same ratings. It is one of those albums, it is good but you grow tired of it fairly quickly. It lacks the novelty that is needed to create an interest for a new album, film, TV-series, book or whatever, otherwise it is just listening a few times before you conclude that it is good and then you look for the next new thing that hopefully shows a bit more novelty. I am not impressed by that, although I respect them sticking to their thing doing what they like and no one can deny that it is a good album. It may not be interesting but it is still good.

The long track Die Alone is a great track and perhaps the album’s biggest asset. The opening track Last Temptation of Christ is another good track but in the end I have to conclude that no matter how good this album is it is still not that interesting. I think that you get what you expect, the fans will not be disappointed as they will get what they have gotten on each and every Astral Doors album before this one. So if you are a fan of Astral Doors, get this album. No surprises, no massive highlight, just strong classic hardrock without regard for anything but doing great classic hardrock. It may not be quite my thing but it is good.




Label: Metalville
Three similar bands: Black Sabbath/Rainbow/Dio
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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