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Astral Kingdom - The Astral Kingdom

Published March 12 2008

=Staff's pick

Face Your Demons
Escape Your Fate
The Astral Kingdom*
Standing In The Light
The Field Of Honour*

Genre Power Metal
Robert Nilsson
Tracks 5
Robert Nilsson
Runningtime 25 Min.
Erik Wallén
Per Fredin
Release 12 Oct. 2007
Peter Fredin
Country Sweden
Thor Olsson
Similar artists Helloween, Nocturnal Rites

It is a true relief for me as a reviewer with a band that is not claiming to be 'totally original and having invented a their own new genre' (yet sounding like everything else of course). Astral Kingdom proudly stands for playing the music they like (power/melodic metal) and trying to have fun while doing it. That is - believe it or not - good enough if you have the songs and the talent.

Astral Kingdom is back with a third demo. This time they have added Erik Wallén as solo guitarist. In the two earlier demo reviews I put some question marks on singer Robert Nilsson's performance. These still stand at large. It sounds pretty ok in the lower parts, but out of tune as soon as he tries to go higher (not including the occasional falsetto screams, which are pretty decent). Technical skill is not all, sure. As long as you have power and character in your voice and match with the music, it all can work out so that the weakness becomes a strength. But unfortunately Nilsson seems to sing in a key out of his natural range too often, which also makes the effort sound a bit weak. I consider this rather unnecessary, as he would do just fine sticking to the lower keys, with some screams to spice it up.

Face Your Demons feels a bit slow, not altogether tight and with a chorus that doesn't really manage to grasp your interest. Joakim Jonsson from Axenstar makes a guest appearance as solo guitarist on this one, and does a nice job though. Escape Your Fate marks a new start and includes a couple of falsetto screams that are pretty cool, but otherwise the vocals so far has not been too impressive. The anthem The Astral Kingdom has the most immediate chorus and also includes a much better singing performance.

Standing In The Light is a classic melodic power metal track with yet some screaming. Perhaps the chorus is a bit too cheesy, but I suppose, done with a bit of self-distance. The closing ballad The Field Of Honour, with a little touch of Manowar, is full of powerful harmonies. As on the last demo Into The Fire, Robert Nilsson does his absolutely best singing in the ballad. Once again a couple of promising songs from these guys. Keep it up!

See also review of: Power Metal Through The Universe , Into The Fire








5 chalices of 10 - David

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