Sweden’s Air Raid have been going 8+ years now, this album features another new vocalist, and although that could be an issue with diehard fans frustrated with the personnel changes, what I will say is wow! Fredrick Werner is an exceptional find. Possessing both a warm and strength in the high and low register, he performs the complete package. The warmth and sometimes his tone is not that dissimilar to my mind than Pretty Maids vocalist Ronnie Atkins.

Crank up the volume to the opener ‘Hold the Flame’, you can feel the traditional heavy metal power, straight through the bass driven rhythm section to the aggressive axe wielding guitar work, its sounds immense played louder than hell. Then listen to the melody, both from the vocal and the guitar. This is a metal anthem, they in fact feel similar to label mates Ambush, but a touch heavier. ‘Line of Danger’ is another well-constructed metal assault, whilst ‘Hell and Back’ captures an arrangement that sound well beyond their years. Simply solid Swedish heavy metal. They have yet, as far as I am aware, to grace these shores, we can only hope, maybe another trip to Germany to see them eh!

In short, a heavy metal album that flows as smooth as a nice single malt, filled with guitar riffs and solos that are ripping and arranged in such a way that puts pay to this new wave descriptor that seems to be circling; it’s been around for a while and it will be around for a lot of years to come, ‘Across the Line’ pure heavy metal period…buy it!

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)