Sweden’s Air Raid has a relatively short, but already impressive career. With their first EP and album, both of which were on Stormspell Records, they put forth great songs filled with hard-hitting riffs, catchy melodies (both vocal and guitar) and fantastic musicianship. It was, in my mind, a big blow when the band lost their first singer. He had a very distinctive voice, unlike any other singer I’ve ever heard. With that said, the band’s new singer, while not being quite as unique, is equally talented (just hear how high the note he hits at the end of “Bound to Destroy” is). And his performance on “Point of Impact”, along with the rest of the band’s, makes for a great ride.
This album is a short, but sweet ball of energy. The band is usually playing uptempo, and though they don’t reach absurd speeds, they move fast enough to give your neck a good workout. The riffs on this album are your standard heavy/speed metal affair, with the occasional exception ("Wildfire" has a very Megadeth-esque sounding technical riff that crushes). Though this style has been done many times before, you definitely won’t feel as though you’ve heard these riffs before. Perhaps most importantly, Air Raid knows how to take a riff and a vocal melody and turn it into a hook. All of these songs become quickly memorable, moreso in the sense that you’ll recognize all of the choruses on your second listen, rather than that the song will come to your head just from looking at the titles.
As mentioned above, one of the things that really makes “Point of Impact” so good is the voice of Arthur Andersson. Sure, he has the technical ability, but so do a lot of metal singers. The reason Andersson is so good is because he’s able to channel a lot of emotion into his performance as well. You can hear from the inflection in his voice when he hits certain notes that he’s really feeling the music and providing the best possible complement to it. His voice itself is not dissimilar from other Swedish heavy metal singers, which is also a good thing.
Overall, “Point of Impact” doesn’t really have a weak point. As much as I enjoyed Air Raid’s last record, I’m thinking this album might be better. It doesn’t quite have the same high points, but it’s far more consistent. There isn’t a single bad track on here, and the band is clearly well versed in how to write heavy metal by taking songwriting elements that sound great without overdoing them. There are harmonies, great riffs, wicked solos, upper-range vocals, and just a ton of enthusiasm for metal. There’s really nothing more you could ask for in an album.
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"Bound to Destroy"
4.3/5 or 86%.
Written by Scott