Released: 2014, Limb Records
Late 2014 sees yet another triumph for Limb Records with the discovery of the Finnish Power Metal band Astralion. It is like the label has an unparalleled instinct for finding and signing the elite bands of the global True/Power Metal scene.
Just by looking at the album cover of the band self-titled debut you know it is going to be awesome, a demon playing an electric guitar! There is certainly more substance to Astralion than just a good looking album cover! This band is made of Finnish veterans who have banded together to create something classic. The generous 13 cut debut runs for 66 minutes and all the songs are in the traditional five to six minute range except for the epic song ‘Last Man On Deck’ which at 13 minutes is appropriately placed at the end of the album.
The album opener ‘Mysterious And Victorius’ is glorious and majestic and could stand up shoulder to shoulder with anything Dragonforce has done, for a super fast song that has an extremely catchy chorus. Astralion is lead by vocalist Ian who was formerly of Olympus Mons. He has it all range, power and personality in his voice as it soars across the skies high above the blazing guitars. All the choruses are infectious and he gets helped out with some backing gang-vocals on the choruses giving them extra emphasis.
The soloing is very nice, especially on the cut, At The Edge Of The World’. The pace of the album is mostly fast but not ultra-fast. There are a few little audio extras like sound effects at the beginning of the punchy song, ‘We All Made Metal’. The production is crystal clear and the balance of the instruments is very nice. The keyboards interplay with the guitars magnificently.
Despite being released quite late in the year I know this has enormous potential to make many year end lists of the fans of true, classic and power Metal, including mine!