"Jerusalem" (Metalville; 2011)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

Swedish quintet Astral Doors deliver a heartfelt blast of traditional metal on the veteran troupe’s latest album "Jerusalem."

This 11-track release features an endless supply of thunderous rhythms and cascading riffs complementing lead singer Nils Patrik Johansson’s powerful vocal style reminiscent of the late Ronnie James Dio (“With a Stranger’s Eye”) while the act’s commendable songwriting prowess plays to their strengths and merges post-Ozzy Black Sabbath and Deep Purple with hints of power metal majesty to form a winning blend of melody and crunch (“Child of Rock'n'Roll”, “Pearl Harbor”).

"Jerusalem" offers little in the way of surprises yet yields a vintage metal attack solidified by a stirring vocal performance and durable compositions.

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"Of the Son and the Father" (Locomotive; 2004)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Fans of Deep Purple, Rainbow and Whitensake will love what they hear on "Of the Son and the Father." 

Rich, 70's- and 80's-style metal with chunky guitar riffs, soaring vocals and abundant keyboards, "Of the Son and the Father" is pure arena rock. 

Vocalist Patrik Johansson sounds like a rough cross between Whitesnake's David Coverdale, Purple's Glenn Hughes and Rainbow's Ronnie James Dio. He's got the soaring sound, impressive range and perfectly measured roughness that suits this genre so well. The song lyrics reflect that era as well, especially on tracks like "Slay the Dragon" and "Night of the Witch." Even the cover art could have been a second choice for an early Dio record.

Highlights include the title song, "Ocean of Sand," with its very Jon Lord-like organ, the sly crescendo and steady rocking of "The Trojan Horse" and the apparent homage (musically, not lyrickly ... is that a word?) to Ronnie James Dio, "Man on the Rock."

"Of the Son and the Father" is one of those CDs that'll have me looking for the band's previous releases. I can't think of a better endorsement than that.

Astral Doors: Nils Patrik Johansson - Vocals; Jocke Roberg - Organ; Joachim Nordlund - Guitar; Martin Haglund - Guitar; Johan Lindstedt - Drums; Mika Itäranta - Bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.