Air Raid are yet another output from Scandinavian Sweden. What the hell are they putting in the water over there to produce so many talented music artists in all rock/metal sub-genres? This traditional metal band began in Gothenburg in 2009. Two years later saw them issue their Danger Ahead EP and the full-length debut, Night Of The Axe in 2013. Now Air Raid are back with the North American release date of January 23, 2015, for their sophomore effort, Point Of Impact. Andreas Johansson (guitar), Johan Karlsson (guitar), Robin Utbult (bass) and David Hermansson (drums) are joined for Point Of Impact by a new voice in Arthur W. Andersson. Air Raid claim that “influences of traditional metal all the way through from Judas Priest and Iron Maiden to Riot and Chastain (including some slight Teutonic leanings in the form of Accept and Grave Digger thrown in for good measure).” is what we’ll find contained in Point of Impact, a step above the band’s previous efforts. Let’s see, shall we?
Point Of Impact leads off with the pounding drums of “Bound To Destroy” and quickly I can make the Iron Maiden comparisons mentioned in their press release quoted above, but as the song moves forward I find it a little Accept “Fast As A Shark”-ish as well. At the end of the day who cares, I like it! “Madness” oozes NWOBHM from every pore and Andersson‘s biting vocals top it off perfectly. Probably my pick for the “best in show award” of Point Of Impact is “Victim Of The Night” with its chugging beat ramping up after the intro and loaded with tempo changes and a memorable chorus. “Wildfire” sits in the fourth slot with its’ blazing metal assault and the instrumental fare of “Flying Fortress” closely nipping at its’ heels. “Vengeance” shows a little speed metal influences, but struggles to pull me back after the instrumental, something which I’m not a particular fan of. I like vocals. “The Fire Within” does a much better job at awakening that fire within my listening pleasure and “We Got The Force” exhibits an epic beginning to this larger than life sounding opus but the earlier portion of Point Of Impact is clearly the strongest for me. Overall a strong effort, certainly enough to entice me to hunt down their back catalog.
Air Raid have appeared at the legendary Keep It True festival in Germany, played gigs in Japan, Spain, Italy and Portugal and plan to tour Europe extensively before long. Expect to see a video surface for one of the tracks from this album as that’s also in the works, but until then here’s a sound sample video for “Madness” to check out.
PHOTO CREDIT: High Roller Records Point Of Impact Press Kit