Entitled Across the Line, the album continues the Scandinavian pattern of polished, well performed melodic hard rock, although it may be a touch heavier than others.
Following on from 2015’s Point of Impact, the album picks up from where the band left off, albeit with Fredrik Werner taking over from Arthur W Andersson behind the mic.
Whilst musically there is not much change, vocally there is a great difference; Andersson had a smooth, rounded delivery, whereas Werner is a fully paid-up member of the gruff brigade with a hint of Blackie Lawless in there, especially on “Cold As Ice”.
One other change in the line-up is Magnus Mild taking over from Johan Karlsson on guitars.
These two newbies join incumbents Andreas Johansson (guitars), Robin Utbolt (bass) and David Hermansson (drums).
Whilst stating that they follow the Scandinavian blueprint, Air Raid do place more emphasis on riffs and solos. Guitar is definitely king on Across the Line and none more so than on the second track, “Entering the Zone Zero” which is basically an extended solo with no lyrical content. It is a cracking track.
Throughout the album we are treated to extended intros, galloping riffs and shared solos which flow seamlessly between lead guitarists. This, in turn, leads to solos twice as long as you’d usually expect. Happy days!
There is, to me, the feeling of peak Joe Lynn Turner era Rainbow in there (I know, some of you might think there never was one) with tracks having the pace and melody of songs such as “Spotlight Kid”, as well as plenty of Strat action.
Across the Line will be available from 29th September via High Roller Records and if you like your Scandinavian rock with added guitar soloing, then this album will be right up your boulevard.