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Astral Doors
Notes From The Shadows
January 2015
Released: 2014, Metalville Records
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Waspman

I was mightily impressed with the last Astral Doors album (2011’s JERUSALEM). They lost me along the way after their debut album kicked my ass, but their last effort brought me back. Based on some of other reviews I read at that time, I wasn’t the only one who felt that way. It’s been three years, but the band is finally back with their follow-up, and seventh studio album in total.

Nothing much has changed in the Astral Doors camp in the intervening years: same logo, same band line up, same approach to song writing, and same influences (Dio/Rainbow etc.). For some bands, that’s a bad sign, but for I’m more than fine with it coming from these guys because they fill a niche, particularly with Nils Patrik Johansson’s Dio-esque vocals. When the opening up-tempo strains of “The Last Temptation of Christ” kicked in, I was immediately at ease, knowing that that the band had come up with another winner. As the album moves on, that’s proven true with slow, lumbering Rainbow rockers like “Die Alone”, and more ass-kicking fare like “Southern Conjuration”. Throughout, the band’s musicianship and talent is undeniable, particularly guitarist Joachim Nordlund, whose riffs and solos shines in just about every song. I love his quote of Jake E. Lee’s immortal “Bark at the Moon” riff in “Wailing Wall”, too.

While there’s no standout track like “Suicide Rime” on the last album, there’s no bad songs either, making NOTES FROM TEH SHADOWS a damn solid and satisfying listen. If the band keeps cranking out albums like this, I’ll be one of the first in line to hear ‘em!
Track Listing

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


Nils Patrik Johansson: Vocals
Joachim Nordlund: Guitar
Jocke Roberg: Keyboards
Ulf Lagerstrom: Bass
Johan Lindstedt: Drums



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