Astral Doors
Black Eyed Children

1. We Cry Out
2. Walls
3. God Is The Devil
4. Die On Stage
5. Tomorrow’s Dead
6. Good vs Evil
7. Suburban Song
8. Lost Boy
9. Slaves To Ourselves
10. Black Eyed Children
11. Jesus Christ Movie Star (Bonus Track)

Nils Patrik Johansson - Vocals
Joachim Nordlund - Guitars
Mats Gesar - Guitars
Ulf Lagerstroem - Bass
Johan Lindstedt - Drums
Jocke Roberg - Keyboards

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)
Notes From the Shadows (2014)

Child choir on title track by Elin Nordlund

Mixed and Mastered by Erik Mårtensson
Recorded between fall 2015 and winter 2017 in Big Turn Studios, Sweden - Engineered by Joachim Nordlund
Produced by Astral Doors
Cover art by Felipe Mercado

Released 2017-04-28
Reviewed 2017-04-02



Just before embarking on the journey of writing this review I read some other person’s review of this album. A review where I found some alternative facts, the reviewer claimed that they were from Borlänge in the southeast of Sweden, I don’t think any Swede (besides perhaps those from the farthest north of the nation) would claim that Borlänge is in the south. Southern half is true but far from what is defined as the south by the locals and it is not really in the east. The reviewer also claimed that this album is a masterpiece, each to his own I guess but I don’t think that you could claim that any of their albums has the qualities of a masterpiece and I doubt the band would be able to create one, unless they change radiacally. Then again, I have always liked what these guys have done; their albums are always good and this is no exception.

This is no difference compared with what they have done before, heavy metal styled like something made by classics like Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath or their peers. The label claims that they are heavier and darker, I don’t really hear that but perhaps it could be true if you listen very, very closely. The label also claims that they are kings of classic heavy rock, I guess that if you steal, borrow and copy others and make it with a bit less character than the legends you could be called king in some definition. The production is good and the vocals remind me of the late great Ronnie James but without the personality that made said vocalist so brilliant. In fact I have always thought, and it is the same now that this band lacks a bit of personality, of character, their music always feels a bit neutral, like they are holding back their real emotions.

Like the few albums before this one I think that Astral Doors have put together a solid album. One that delivers what you can expect without surprises. It is heavy metal or heavy rock according to the format, fans will adore it because it sounds like it always does. I was ruing the lack of novelty from the first time I heard this, as a reviewer I really hate it when new albums feels like something I have heard many times before. Not that I dislike this album, I think Black Eyed Children delivers what it promises, it is a good solid album according to the best tradition of the band. With certainty it is a safe bet for the fan of the band.

The title track is the one that stands out most in an album of non-standout tracks on an album that is neither better nor worse than anything else they have done for the last couple of albums. A good solid effort, with good solid tracks – a safe bet, like buying a good, reliable but dull car. It works but it will never really make a lasting impression and the only one who would call it a masterpiece is someone with a very limited frame of reference. I think Astral Doors keeps delivering as they have always done, another good album.





Label: Metalville
Three similar bandws: Black Sabbath/Rainbow/Dio

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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