AIR RAID – Point of Impact
Heavy metal is here to stay folks – especially with the new wave of acts taking inspiration from the past and paying homage in the best way possible. Sweden’s Air Raid is one of many bands who perform in a style first made famous by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, currently on their second album "Point of Impact" and first for their latest vocalist Arthur Andersson, who replaced Michael Rinakakis last year. Keeping the album length at an appropriate vinyl format of just under 35 minutes, these 8 songs champion multi-octave power melodies, twin guitar runs at a variety of speeds, and straight ahead tempos designed for head flailing, fist pumping excitement.
Certain songs contain more of an anthem nature in terms of riff choices and simplified choruses – "Madness" easily coming to mind as something Tipton and Downing would be jamming on for Judas Priest during their "Defenders of the Faith" days, while the follow up "Victim of the Night" has a lot of that early Seattle power feel, back when Queensryche and their offspring gained the lion’s share of media/ fan attention, Andreas Johansson and Johan Karlsson taking an extended lead break showcase during the instrumental moments that is very Maiden-esque. A shorter instrumental song like the 3 minute "Flying Fortress" still contains enough musicality, especially in terms of the bass work of Robin Utbult to bring up the older Omen days, to deserve space on "Point of Impact" and not be considered superfluous filler.
Arthur has an interesting voice – a mixture of smooth power and then screams that can shatter glass with a little bit of shrieking edge to the mix. All facets of his range carry through the verses and chorus of the up tempo "Vengeance", while the Accept-like "The Fire Within" showcases a lot of his higher propensity in the best light. The 80’s are alive again, thanks to Air Raid proving that traditional metal will never die.