Astral Doors was a formed as a pure-play hard rock and heavy metal band by several experienced Swedish musicians in 2002. The act's name was chosen after a song called Far Beyond The Astral Doors was written. Haglund would switch from bass to guitar and recruit his replacement, Mika Itärana. The band signed with Locomotive and recorded its debut with Peter Tägtgren of Hypocrisy. The album was issued in the autumn of 2003. The Japanese label would censor and change the album’s cover artwork. The album’s name was also changed to Cloudbreaker. Johan Lindstedt had his finger smashed when someone slammed a car door on it in late 2003. Johan underwent medical treatment.
The band was booked for the 2000 Decibel Festival and Sweden Rock Festival in the summer of 2004. The group toured Europe with Grave Digger following Evil Is Forever.
Johansson also joined Lion's Share in late 2005. An EP called Raiders Of The Ark was issued in 2005 to coincide with a number of shows. Astralism was issued in March of 2006 and the band was invited onto Swedish radio and television to promote the album.
The band issued a new album called Requiem Of Time in January of 2010 through new German label Metalville. Mika Itaranta was out. Former Lunatic Parade man Ulf Lagerström was in. Guitarist Martin Haglund left to focus on his family. A replacement was not sought. Astral Doors released a compilation CD called The Best Of Astral Doors in November of 2010. The band was also working on a live DVD. Jerusalem was the name of the 2011 album from Astral Doors, which was released in October. The album was mixed by Daniel Bergstrand. The group cancelled its The Desert Forces Of Rock Tour 2011, in support of the Jerusalem album, due to lack of advance ticket sales. Astral Doors would release its next album, Notes From The Shadows, on August 29th through Metalville. The follow-up to 2011's Jerusalem was mixed and mastered at the Black Lounge Studio in Grangärde by Jonas Kjellgren.
ASTRAL DOORS - ASTRALISM - LOCOMOTIVE
Having keyboards in heavy metal is like having man-on-man sex in a lesbian movie. Some things are just nonsensical. Having said that hard rock history has been replete with great music performed with keyboards. Bands like Deep Purple, UFO and Rainbow have made timeless music that is hard and very much relevant. It is that last band that Astral Doors owes some to and makes the existence of a keyboardist in the Swedish band palatable. For Astralism is a great hard rock album full of songs that sing to the tune of power.
Lead by the ultra-throaty vocals of Nils Patrik Johansson, who time and time again makes the listener think of Danish band Pretty Maids, the band has put together a compelling album that one can bang his head to, scream with or play while racing through the deserted night streets. The song EVP quickly sets the tone for the album with a mix of Rainbow, Iron Maiden and Pretty Maids, which means good riffs, heavy wailing roars and warm leads. Black Rain carries the tune of a famous pop song many would recognize and sings of the infamous criminal flight of Enola Gay. Provocative titles like from Satan With love, Israel and In Rock We Trust are part of the appeal of the band. Tears From A Titan is a catchy lode with a prominent organ sound. The album’s closing cut is the seven-minute long slow song Apocalypse Revealed, which takes Astralism up to fifty-five minutes of music. What a value. - Ali “The Metallian”