Black Eyed Children
4/24/2017 - Review by: Eric Compton
Firm traditional metal from Sweden that pulls no punches
'Black Eyed Children' is probably the best Astral Doors album since 2007's 'New Revelation'. I found the last two offerings, 'Jerusalem' and 'Notes from the Shadows', inadequate in terms of well-crafted songs that possessed long term staying power. Coincidentally, those releases featured one guitarist after the departure of Martin Haglund where this new record has an additional guitarist in Mats Gesar. Whether that makes or breaks it is anyone's opinion but I feel it definitely adds more dynamics to the traditionalism. You can hear more life on the strings in the stirring opener "We Cry Out", that 80s formula still deeply recessed in "Ye Olde Metal" but a little faster and punchier. Lyrically, the band always tackle religion, war and a mythology and this one is no different. The title track is an eerie take on the 90's myth of soul-taking hitchhiking children. Itís a real thing, look it up. "God is the Devií" is lyrically intelligent and asks questions of our creator. "Die on Stage" is a fitting cut for blue-collars like Astral Doors --"Going out in a crescendo, dying on stage". Sing it man, sing it.
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