Astral Doors - Raiders Of The Ark
The first time I heard Astral Doors was when Cloudbreaker were included on a sampler from Sweden Rock Magazine. I thought it was an incredible song with amazing vocals and shortly after I ordered the bands debut album, Of The Son And The Father. Partly it was a fantastic record but my feelings were, and still are, that it's a bit uneven. When the second album arrived I felt the same way, killer tracks and more forgettable ones were gathered side by side. Two great records anyway but they could have been so much more.
Only ten months since the last time we heard something from the band we are presented with a brand new offering. Well, brand new isn't maybe the right word because this is an EP with one track from the forthcoming album Astralism, due out early next year, one previously unreleased track and three songs previously only released in Japan. Therefore I thought that this EP would include only one interesting song and a couple of boring leftovers. Well, leftovers maybe they are but I can't really understand why. In fact, this EP got compositions that are great from the beginning to the end and it can only be described as, mark my words, extremely even.
The first and most interesting tune is Raiders Of The Ark as it is taken from the upcoming album. It's simply put a great track following the well known path that Astral Doors wandered before. Maybe not a classic like Cloudbreaker but most certainly it will be a standout track on the album anyway. Up next is Easy Rider with an unusual angry guitar as its finest trademark. Far Beyond The Astral Doors and Another Day In Hell is almost as good as the opener and I can't understand why they left them to be bonus tracks on the previous albums. Moonstruck Woman is the weakest track but holds enough quality to maintain the overall feeling. As a little bonus we are also treated a video clip of the song Time To Rock, the best track on Evil Is Forever. The video is a nice addition to the EP but nothing special either.
When you look upon how this release is compiled it seems to be a product just for the fans, but the more I listened to it the more I realised that it had quality to stand on its own. Now we eagerly await the new album with high hopes!