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Air Raid - Across The Line Award winner

Air Raid
Across The Line
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 October 2017, 6:57 PM

From a personal experience, on most cases, a lineup change is like a spreading disease, generally leaving a band a few steps backwards instead of moving on, especially when the mindset is to write new material or go on tour to support an album. However, looking at it from a different perspective, a change in the ranks might do the opposite and contribute to the band’s future advancement towards its goal. The arrival of new talents to the table could make a difference. The Swedish AIR RAID, which have already been regarded as one of the future promises of Swedish Heavy Metal and after you would listen to their albums, you would understand why, have undergone replacements the past three years since their sophomore album. It dragged them behind a bit, yet luckily, it didn’t damage their proficiency or their passion for traditional Heavy Metal.

The freshly released “Across The Line”, via High Roller Records, substantiates AIR RAID’s position in their local Metal scene and I can easily argue in Europe as well. There is a burning fire behind the band perceiving of old school Metal, especially for the kicks of NWOBHM, an urge to recreate the moments that made us, the Metalheads, cultivate under the genre’s broad wings. Frankly, the band has been following this brick road since their formation, yet every now and again, they send this sharp reminder in order to not lose their edge. I know it smells like another consistent band, which isn’t bad at all, but I believe that “Across The Line” has a few varying elements in comparison to the last two albums.

The vast majority of these elements begins and ends in the guitar work. In comparison to the previous album, which had quite a distinction as your average, yet excellent, traditional Metal album, “Across The Line” revealed guitar heroism, shredding capabilities or the Neo-Classical type of the highest order. There are influences of both Yngwie Malmsteen’s and Chris Impellitteri’s massive styles of playing, which can grossly be noticed on the exceptional instrumental tune “Entering The Zone Zero”, an uncanny number for the band, courageous move that came out just right and neatly done. Rhythm wise, this is what you would expect from such a release, however, there are several twists, quality written licks that spellbound the old heritage wall bashers. Lastly, there is the front section of the band, which is also brand new. Recently the band recruited Fredrik Werner, vocalist / guitarist of the local melodic Hard Rock band, OSUKARU. No doubt a vibe changer for the band due to the guy’s voice pattern, as it was used for high pitchers. Right from the start Werner sounded to me like a younger version of MASTERPLAN’s soaring Blues infested frontman Ricki Altzi. Though I had my misgivings due to the nature of the band’s music, I couldn’t be happier to notice how well his tone of voice and singing abilities fit the music. His voice is powerful and with the rightful attitude, the right decision for the band.

“Hell And Back” reminded of SAXON’s 80s period, right before the “Rock The Nations” era, stellar performance of the lead guitar section, shredding the mind with menace. The British styled riffs, and general vibe, are pure magic. This is an amazing old school perception, no less than solid gold. “Hold The Flame” might appear as an over and out tune, it has been reprised by other bands of the same, yet AIR RAID deployed well the proto Speed Metal straightforwardness to their advantage, creating a hooking tune that is a pure praise to the right form of Metal. “Black Dawn” entailed simplistic but titanic main riffing, so addictive that it made me rewind. Generally, it is a simple tune, but spot on. The guitar work is out of this world. “Aiming For The Sky” is a sheer prominence of the guitar power, creative lead guitar solo section and toughened up riffing, bolstering with pounding beats right there on this scorcher. Be sure to check out: “Raid Or Die”, “Line Of Danger” and “Cold As Ice”.

I still remember the first time I listened to AIR RAID’s debut EP “Danger Ahead”, dating five years ago. It was quite a rush. Clearly the arrival of “Across The Line” showed how confidently these guys move forward in their career, became one of the keepers of the flame, maybe one day to be one of the leading forces of tradition. Salute!

Purchase Link: High Roller Records

4 Star Rating

1. Hold The Flame
2. Line Of Danger
3. Aiming For The Sky
4. Cold As Ice
5. Entering The Zone Zero
6. Hell And Back
7. Northern Light
8. Raid Or Die
9. Black Dawn
Fredrik Werner - Vocals
Andreas Johansson - Guitars
Magnus Mild - Guitars
Robin Utbult - Bass
David Hermansson - Drums
Record Label: High Roller Records


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Edited 06 December 2021

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