Air Raid - Fatal Encounter review
|Release date:||February 2023|
03. In Solitude
04. See The Light
06. Edge Of A Dream
07. Let The Kingdom Burn
08. One By One
09. Pegasus Fantasy
If the late 80s glam side of metal is your kind of thing, then try this bunch of Swedish metal badasses out for size.
Formed back in 2009, the Swedish old school heavy metal band Air Raid have reached their fourth full-length release with Fatal Encounter. It's their first release in six years, and they've returned by hitting the ground rolling. The opening track "Thunderblood" throws you straight into the midst of the late 80s metal era, most notably replicating the sound and style of W.A.S.P. with the classic breakneck speedy riffs, stadium-chanting choruses and verses, and lightning rhythmic drumming pounding away. "Lionheart" follows suit and so do the other tracks that come after; the album is flooded with a high level of energy and excitement from beginning to end.
It has to be said that the first half of Fatal Encounter impresses me more so than the second half, particularly the tracks "In Solitude", with its memorable chorus and impressive songwriting, and "See The Light", with its speedy galloping riffs and catchy main hooks. Still, this isn't said to knock the second half of the album, as each song contains enough catchiness and excitement to keep you hooked, which even goes for the unique neoclassical instrumental, “Sinfonia”. The final track "Pegasus Fantasy" is also a notable highlight for me; I'm not usually one for cover songs in any genre unless the band in question brings something unique and special and performs it to a high standard, but this Make-Up cover track I have to say is excellent, and a perfect way to close the album.
There's nothing that hasn't been done before here, but it's the savage performances by each musician that I find most striking, starting with Fredrik Werner's outstanding vocal performance; Blackie Lawless, eat your heart out, this guy is up there with the best of them in terms of his vocal range and classic style. Also, there is a change in line-up, as Fatal Encounter sees new bassist Jan Ekberg and drummer William Seidl join, bringing their incredible performances into the picture too. However, it isn't just the outstanding performances here that impresses me; the production is also high quality. No element performed comes across as over the top, everything is well mixed, the vocals work hand-in-hand with the instrumentation, the guitar tone is thick, the bass is crystal clear and, best of all, the drumming has a powerful sound. So whatever this album lacks in originality, it certainly makes up for in sound quality.
If you thought heavy metal was a thing of the past, here's another example that it sure as hell is not. You can go back and listen to the great heavy metal bands of the 80s, but this incredible genre is still continuing to impress us to this very day.
||Written on 03.03.2023 by|
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