Do you like Turbo era Judas Priest? I do. DO you like Maiden’s Fear of the Dark? I do. Do you like Enforcer? I do! It appears that Aerodyne from Gothenburg share the sentiment. From the moment I spied the old skool cover of Damnation depicting hooded figures burning a busty witch at the stake I knew that this was not going to be one of my usual “woke” post hardcore discs.
“Damnation” is the bands second album – the first being 2017’s Breaking Free and they keep to the blueprint of mid 80’s hard rock speed metal that still keeps heads banging and fists pumping the world over.
Opening with the instrumental “Hellsiah” Aerodyne (not sure about the name chaps!) introduce the twin guitars of Johan Bergman and Daniel Almqvist early on before segueing sweetly into Out For Blood where the drums of Christoffer Almqvist and low end of Thomas Berggren are unleashed.
When Marcus Heinonen lets me know that “all hell’s breaking loose” followed by a blistering solo I know I am in for a rip-roaring run through a midnight street like diving into an Outrun cabinet with my trusty Walkman set to Armageddon volume.
Kick it Down, Kill or Be Killed, Under the Black Veil. Yeah they may sound like familiar titles but when a band are having this much fun it is impossible not to be dragged along by ears into the mayhem. Slices of Wolfsbane, Skid Row and Helloween are devoured by this Swedish monster all shat out covered in studs and leather.
March Davai see’s Aerodyne delve their toe into WW2 metal with a tale from the Eastern Front . A chugging riff, tales of war and a swagger worthy of erstwhile Cult brethren Claytown Troupe. Not quite as impactful as their straight-ahead rockers but a great change of pace and some blistering solos and an essential drum beat hey cry ready for the festivals.
Murder in the Rye hits the road like a stolen 65 Mustang in flame red. Phew. Blistering. DO not listen to this whilst driving unless you don’t mind haemorrhaging penalty points!
Thunder and the tolling of a bell signals the title track’s arrival. This is heavy metal. This is what I expected when I was 14 and what I love to hear still some thirty “cough” years later. There is a little hint of Alice Cooper in here and this would certainly have fit into one of the many VHS horror movies I was obsessed with in my youth. “Kill or be Killed” had me alternating humming it’s refrain and Be Quick or Be Dead which it borrows from. Bloody lovely!
“The Nihilist” is a little awkward in the way the lyrics are crowbarred into the melody but it is a fairly solid slab of metal with a lovely teen scream of “kill my mother and I kill my god” . I can hear doors being slammed and stereos being cranked from here.
“Love, Eternal” brings our nostalgic road trip to an end with a gallop filled crescendo of spiralling guitars and thunderous drums and cheesy chorus that could make the Milka cow lactose intolerant.
“Thousands of cars and a Million Guitars. Screaming with Power in the air” was the Priest lyric and I reckon Aerodyne have taken that as their manifesto. This may not be the album you know you want but it is the album that your outlaw soul needs.
(8/10 Matt Mason)