. .  
.         . .
... Home | Reviews
.   .
Latest Reviews

Prong's X - No Absolutes

Rabid Flesh Eaters - Reign of Terror

Coffins/Isla Split

Haken - Affinity

Be'lakor - Vessels

Valdur - Pathetic Scum

Messa - Belfry

Die Choking - III

Sailing to Nowhere - To The Unknown

Black Anvil Interview

Six Feet Under - Graveyard IV The Number of the Priest

Destroyer 666 - Wildfire

Onslaught - Live at the Slaughterhouse

Rotten Sound - Abuse To Suffer

Venomous Concept - Kick Me Silly: VC III

The Great Discord - Duende

Arcana 13 - Danza Macabra

Die Choking - II

Obsidian Kingdom - A Year With No Summer

Thy Catafalque - Sgurr

Denner Shermann - Masters of Evil

Astral Doors - Testament of Rock Review

by Matt Hensch

I'd be willing to guess Astral Doors really like Ronnie James Dio, like almost to criminal measures. "Testament of Rock" is a best-of with fourteen Astral Doors songs that are, well, a lot like Dio anthems, and average ones at that. This compilation is the first slice of material I've heard from these guys, and I'm honestly not that impressed. There really isn't anything interesting going on with Astral Doors even though they picked these fourteen tracks to represent their greatest hits, which kind of speaks for their legacy in and of itself. I like "Testament of Rock," but I'm not very empathetic when the release topples over from rocking the boat a little too hard.

But needless to say, Astral Doors know what rules given the right circumstances. Something like "Cloudbreaker" super-sizes everything Astral Doors appears to be: bombastic vocals, spicy harmonies, energetic percussion, Dio-inspired riffs that quake and shake...basically classic metal, no sugar added. Not a lot deviates from the norm, yet that doesn't stop "Testament of Rock" from delivering some wonderful pieces which burn pound for pound into pure steel, just like the godfathers played. Nils Patrik Johansson's large, colossal voice is about as magnetizing as a singer's pipes can be, and his incredible singing is easily my favorite quality of this band; he sounds natural and totally dominate of his territory.

Yet on the other hand, the song structures they use for every cut are a premonition for boredom, unfortunately. Sure the riffs sound good and the choruses catchy, but there isn't a fire Astral Doors can hang high. Any band can write traditional heavy metal: several do it right, fewer master it, and many manage to it screw up because the heat of passion is nonexistent; these guys are definitely on the mediocre side of things. Not to mention some of the tracks are just inanimate and barren. I mean "Power and the Glory" or "Quisling" have nothing to grab the listener's attention, and the unreleased "Victory" is more of a loss than anything. Talk about shooting 50-50 from the line, sheesh!

You know, I really don't feel like I was cheated with this. In fact, listening to "Testament of Rock" has given me all that I need to hear regarding Astral Doors from now until forever. Why would their discography travel down a different road than the traditional metal route, or show a color this release obviously lacks? A self-fulfilling question, I suppose. But overall, there are some good songs, some not-so-good songs, and a whole lot of frisky heavy metal that is simply heavy metal in its most comfortable form. The release is certainly fun and listenable, but definitely insignificant and a little tedious at times too; perhaps that's the only testament Astral Doors can rightfully boast at the end of the day.

CD Info and Links

Astral Doors - Testament of Rock


Preview and Purchase This CD Online

Visit the official homepage

More articles for this artist

tell a friend about this review



Thrash Worthy Link

antiMUSIC - iconoFAN - Rocknworld - Day in Rock - Rock Search - thrashPIT - iconoSTORE
Thrashpit is presented by Rocknworld.com - Part of the antiMusic Network

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - Link to us

Copyright© 1998 - 2007 Iconoclast Entertainment Group
All rights reserved.
No Part of this site may be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form.
Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site.
Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use. Updated 12-19-99