Air Raid is the newest traditional heavy metal sensation from Gothenburg in Sweden. The band was originally formed in 2009. In 2011 they recorded a CD EP entitled »Danger Ahead«, followed by their full-length debut album »Night Of The Axe« in 2013. In April of the same year Air Raid appeared at the legendary “Keep It True“ festival in Germany. This was followed by a live appearance in Japan as well as gigs in Italy, Spain and Portugal.
Having changed singers, Arthur W Andersson (vocals), Andreas Johansson (guitars), Johan Karlsson (guitars), Robin Utbult (bass) and David Hermansson (drums) started work on their first High Roller album »Point Of Impact« in June 2014. The eight tracks on the new album show 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).
Changing singers was not an easy decision for Air Raid to take, says Andreas Johansson: “Yes, we have changed our singer to Arthur W Andersson. We are very excited, as we love his voice very much. The reason we didn’t continue with the former singer Michalis were the big personal differences and disputes. We couldn’t continue like that, so it had to be done. Michalis sort of sounded like Paul Di’Anno sometimes. Our new singer Arthur has a more high-pitched voice and has no similarities to him. I would say that »Night Of The Axe« sounds a bit like Accept at times, much because of our former vocalist's type of singing. But certainly not »Point Of Impact«, as you will hear soon! We don’t sound like a specific band, we are old school metal fans, but we always try to write in our own way. Don't get me wrong, we do like Accept and old Helloween. But I can’t say they have had a special impact on our songs. When people try to describe our music, they always cite many different bands. I think we must have been compared to over 20 bands now, ha, ha. “
Featuring songs such as “Bound To Destroy“, “The Fire Within“ or “We Got the Force“ »Point Of Impact« is a big step up from the band's previous two efforts. Guitarist Andreas Johansson thinks the same: “I would say that the album is generally more melodic and has better songwriting than »Night Of The Axe« for example. It came naturally as Arthur has more of a hard rock voice, but also the mood we were in when writing the songs. I wrote almost all the music and also the vocal melodies. The lyrics were written by me and bassist Rob.”
Signing with High Roller Records was a vital decision for the band to make: “We absolutely consider it an important step! It was really time for us to move on. High Roller was the perfect choice, and we are happy with the collaboration work for this album.”
The band's first album »Night Of The Axe« was received very well, this was why High Roller took notice of Air Raid in the first place. Andreas Johansson explains: “Mostly we got really impressive ratings and reviews. We didn’t really expect that, although we felt we had a strong debut in our hands.”
In their relatively short career Air Raid have already been able to gain an excellent reputation in the current underground scene. Andreas knows why: “Well, it has been very much hard work, but it also helped us to play at “Keep It True” of course, that was the biggest audience we have played for so far! Otherwise, we have done two short tours in Europe, some smaller festivals (“Swordbrothers”, “SkullFest” and “Metalheadz Open Air”), and also the gig at the “Japanese Assault Fest” in Tokyo, together with Girlschool. So we have steadily gathered more and more fans!”
As Sweden currently does possess probably the most vital metal scene in the world, a lot of the bands tend to come from smaller cities rather than from Gothenburg or Stockholm. Air Raid, however, are about to change all this:
“Yes, each of us comes from different parts of the Gothenburg suburbs and surrounding areas, except our singer, Arthur. He lives in a small city 150 km from Gothenburg. I think you are quite right, many bands come from small cities in Sweden, even though we have some cool bands in Gothenburg, which has always been a hard rock and metal city. I honestly don’t know much about the Stockholm bands, but I guess it’s the same situation there.”
Air Raid plan to tour Europe extensively soon. They are also looking to produce a video for one of the songs on »Point Of Impact«. As for now there is no better way to get acquainted with the Gothenburg boys than to take a listen to their new album. You won't regret it.