Astralion - Outlaw

Astralion Outlaw cover
Limb Music GmbH
Upon looking at a photo of this quintet, I thought “Italians”?! But a couple of faces didn’t really look all that Mediterranean… the singer also reminded me slightly of the guy from Red Aim (who would later transform into the mega successful Powerwolf) but I was quite certain it wasn’t him. At any rate, I opened the included literature and added the album on my playlist to find out they’re Finns and well they’re not a million miles away from the wolven style, albeit a bit more melodic and without as many hallelujahs (if any!) – hehe….
They seem to draw a lot of inspiration from some other Finnish bands like Stratovarius, Sonata Arctica and Thunderstone and also Swedish metal kings Hammerfall. On their second attempt, they don’t manage to escape the clichés of the genre (not sure they wish to do so) and while they have donned cowboy hats, they seem to be singing about almost anything but the wild west (they do so in the ultra-fast title track). Most of the songs tend to be speedy, ie “Blackadder” (really Baldrick? Haha, got to love a band that name checks that awesome comedy show) or “Nightmares Never Give Up”… but when the band slows down, they do so in a big way and that gives them a whole different slant, ie “Ghosts of Sahara” or “Wastelands of Ice”; probably the best song would be the highly symphonic and quite hearty “The Great Palace of the Sea” that manages to successfully mingle the power metal melodies with some “shanty like elements” and the whole symphonic aspect and deliver a very catchy combination.
Worth checking out and I’m sure they can grow into something much better as well. Should quench your Europower thirst sufficiently, until something really monumental hits the scene.