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Astral Doors
Testament Of Rock
February 2011
Released: 2011, Metalville
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Erich

Do your miss Ronnie James Dio? Yeah, me too. Thankfully, we have Astral doors and their first greatest hits package assembled by fans of the band to help bridge the giant chasm left between Dio and traditional power metal. For those unfamiliar with the band, they formed in Sweden in 2002, founded by guitarist Joachim Nordlund and drummer Johan Lindstedt with the express goal of writing and recording traditional metal in the spirit of Dio, Sabbath, and Deep Purple. Mission accomplished. Since forming, they have released 5 albums and one EP, had successful tours, and played many of the big metal festivals.

TESTAMENT OF ROCK is a greatest hits package, which usually means more money for the record company to get out of the band, but for the casual fan or curios fan, this album serves as an excellent introduction to the band. As expected with a hits package, nearly every track is a power metal feast worthy of repeat listens. The biggest resemblance to Dio is in singer Nils Patrik Johansson who breaths energy into every song with power and conviction. “Black Rain” is probably one of the best places to hear Nils’s uncanny channeling of Dio, but he is no simple hack. There is plenty of individual character and style, most notably Nils ability to reach the higher registers more capably than the legend himself. “Time To Rock” sounds like it came directly from the HOLY DIVER sessions, the riffs and melodies proudly paying tribute to traditional metal, and come chorus time you will be checking the calendar for the year this was released.

The only questionable track happens to be the previously unreleased “Victory”, wisely sequenced as the last track on the album. But hey, even this is not a bad tune, just not quite in the same league as the rest of the album. Really there is not much else to say. If you can get past the fact that this is not an original band, and you are content to revisit the traditional metal sound of old, you will surely enjoy this. If you have never heard Astral Doors, this is a great place to star. If you are a long time fan, you can curse the absence of some obvious omissions, as this is what people do with greatest hits albums. Fans of Dio, Black Sabbath, and traditional power metal will find this a welcome blast from the past.
Track Listing

1. Cloudbreaker

2. Time to Rock

3. Of the Son and the

4. Black Rain

5. Power & the Glory

6. Bride of Christ

7. New Revelation

8. Slay the Dragon

9. London Caves

10. Evil is Forever

11. Lionheart

12. Quisling

13. Testament of Rock

14. Victory (unreleased)


Nils Patrik Johansson – vocals
Joachim Nordlund – guitar
Joakim Roberg – organ
Ulf Lagerstroem – bass
Johan Lindstedt – drums

Next review: » Astral Doors - Testament Of Rock-The Best Of Astral Doors
Previous review: » Astral Doors - Notes From The Shadows

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