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On disc: Astral Doors

Testament Of Rock - Claudia Ehrhardt - no rating
Jerusalem - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars


(Metalville - 2011)

About 1 1/2 years after the release of Requiem Of Time Swedish outfit Astral Doors is back with Jerusalem. In between they released a best of album, these guys work hard to conquer the metal world. With Jerusalem they present a concept album which kicks off with Seventh Crusade. The opener is a powerful rocker which shows reminiscences to Dio. For With A Stranger's Eye they speed up a bit and the tune has a dash of Rainbow in it... I would have shortened it a bit, but well... Child Of Rock'n'Roll is another Dio-esque tune, but I don't get how it fits into the concept... Or did I get the concept of Jerusalem wrong? Sharp riffs lead you into Pearl Harbor, and I wonder again what's the concept... This riff-based tune is showing slight variations in speed and has a hymnic touch. One of my favorites is Suicide Rime, even if it doesn't differ a lot from the rest of the stuff. The slower passage at The Day After Yesterday I like most for the vocal performance, coz Patrik Johansson sounds less like Ronnie James Dio. I know many love Astral Doors for their Dio-esque sound, but I would prefer vocals which are less RJD-like - but that's just me. About the rest, it can be said: same same but different - even if Jerusalem is more anthem-like than any other tune.
If you liked their previous album, you won't be disappointed!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


Testament Of Rock

Testament Of Rock
(Metalville - 2010)

The Swedish heavy metal outfit is presenting a best-of album called Testament Of Rock. They have 5 studio albums under their belt and made many fans with their 80's heavy metal and a singer who sounds a lot like Ronnie James Dio. When the band decided to do a best-of they asked their fans to vote for their favorites, so it's exactly what the fans want to hear. Twelve songs represent their previous releases and additionally they offer Victory, a previously unreleased song. When you take a look at the track listing then you'll find at least 2 songs off every album, but obviously the fans' favorite album is their second album Evil Is Forever, coz 4 songs made it onto this compilation. Victory kicks off with a chant, then drums lead you into a heavy metal anthem which is carried by a memorable riff. The mid-part of the song has a spoken words part which sounds a lot like Manowar... Perhaps it's the words... Then the Dio-ish vocals are back. A good song which live will make everybody sing along.
Personally I find it more interesting, if a band offers live versions or alternate versions then 'just' offer their or the fans' faves on one disk, coz not everybody would name the same songs and it's easy to make your own compilation when you have the albums. On the other hand it's a good way to discover the band, if you only know a song or two.

Track listing:

Time To Rock
Of The Son And The Father
Black Rain
Power & The Glory
Bride Of Christ
New Revelation
Slay The Dragon
London Caves
Evil Is Forever
Testament Of Rock
Victory (unreleased)

- no rating -

Claudia Ehrhardt


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