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Astralion - 'Outlaw' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/a4/42/fe/astralion-outlaw-31-1473966227.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 15, 2016    
 
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Melodic Power Metal is all about filling the listener with energy and joy, and 'Outlaw' has plenty of both.

Finnish fret-fiddlers Astralion have two things that make them memorable; one, they make spell-checkers change their name to 'Australian' whenever possible... and two, they are a very good Melodic Metal band. Hopefully, the second is what they will be known for best, but I feel the first will crop up an awful lot as well. Two years after the well-received self-titled debut, 'Outlaw' sees Astralion taking what isn't broken and not fixing it, if you catch my drift. Aiming squarely between the eyes of fans of Sonata Arctica, DragonForce and their ilk, the band fire dramatic, guitar-fuelled widdle fests that pretty much all hit the target.

This band don't seem to be able to write a three minute single and the ten tracks here come in at about an hour, including the ten minute closer 'The Great Palace Of The Sea'; a jaunty track that injects a bit of Folk into the mix to great effect, and adds a Nightwish vibe to the other influences. Throughout the album there's some cracking guitar from Hank J Newman, but that's par for the course with this type of stuff.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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Vocalist Ian Highhill has a lower register than many Melodic Metal singers, but he can certainly hold a tune whilst battling against the furious energy of his bandmates. Like many people, when I first heard 'Through The Fire & Flames' (DragonForce) I knew it was something special, and it's arguably become a benchmark for bands trying a similar type of thing. It's not a case of "can they better it?" but "how close can they get?"; in all honesty, Astralion certainly get closer than most, due to the sheer energy they pump out at every opportunity.

Melodic Power Metal (to give it the full title) is all about filling the listener with energy and joy, and 'Outlaw' has plenty of both. There may be a strong whiff of "nothing new" happening here, but what there is, is solid as you could want.

Alan Holloway

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