Astral Kingdom - Into The Fire review
|Album:||Into The Fire|
|Release date:||February 2007|
01. Son Of The Stars
02. For The Damned
03. Into The Fire
04. For Eternity
Astral Kingdom was born in Västerås, Sweden back in 2003, but only started to "seriously" play in the February of 2006. Since then the band have already released one demo "Power Metal Through The Universe" last summer, and now we have the release of the bands second demo "Into The Fire". The band boast the usage of fireworks and fire as part of an entertaining live show as well as a wide array of merchandise on their website ranging from shirts (with 2004 Olympic gold medallist Markus Oscarsson modelling) to underwear, to even a shopping bag with the band name on it! All of this making me eager to hear the bands second demo attempt.
"Son Of The Stars" kicks us into the demo and introduces us to the band, this song sporting nice keyboard and guitar solos as well as some double bass drumming and a Helloween/Iron Maiden style "sing-along" bit at the end. As we carry on through the demo we can clearly hear that the band can hold themselves together and are able to write some nice melodies and tunes for the songs as well. "For The Damned" has a little more pace in the guitar and is that bit punchier too. As with "Into The Fire" these songs are catchy and it doesn't take much to have you humming along to the songs as well.
As you will have assumed by now, Astral Kingdom are a power metal band - but that is all this demo shows. Today we have thousands of power metal bands all following the same trends and pretty much sounding the same, so bands now need to be looking for something to set themselves apart from the rest in any kind of way and unfortunately this demo, although good, doesn't stand out in the power metal universe. Also the demo may be lacking a bit of true heavy metal power - I would like to hear the singer really going for it without holding anything back, projecting his voice as far and as loud as he is capable not only live but when he is standing there in the studio recording as well, and also it doesn't harm to speed up the drums and guitar a bit as well.
I am being a little over-critical, these guys are still young and this is only their second demo together, so over time as these musicians grow and gain in experience - the quality of the music they write and will be capable of playing will almost certainly increase as well. For a second demo though and only just over a year of playing "seriously" this band have done a good job. The songs are good and catchy and worth listening to, "For The Damned" and "Into The Fire" especially, but also as can be expected, there is vast room for improvement.
||Written on 22.05.2007 by Member of Staff since 2006.|
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| Baz Anderson
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