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ALBUM REVIEW: Airforce – Strike Hard

Written by on May 4, 2021

Airforce goes way back – back indeed to NWOBHN and early Iron Maiden’s drummer Doug Sampson who played with them from 1977-1979. He left Maiden and formed Airforce but the band called it a day without leaving a recording behind. There were a number of regroupings over the years but it took a few decades before ‘Judgement Days’ in 2016. Now as we are into the next decade comes the second full length with new vocalist Flavio Lino (discovered in ‘Iron Beast’ a Portuguese, wait for it… Iron Maiden cover band!)…

Whilst that first record was rather a collection of songs from over the years and featured a number of vocalists this one is more coherent and whilst there is a single guitar rather than the twin guitar you might expect the sound is VERY NWOBHM as the album sounds like the technological advances of the last few decades haven’t happened!

Sonically this is a rather mid-tempo affair that rather tan take a queue from Maiden sounds more like other NWOBHM acts like Saxon, Diamond Head or Tygers of Pang Tang. And whilst it does hint at Maiden at times like on opener ‘Fight’ or ‘Finest Hour’ it’s more Lino’s Dickinson meets Geoff Tate vocal that draws you into comparisons. As a whole there’s generally more groove at play here than you’d find on a Maiden album.

Interestingly Paul Di’Anno pops up on vocals for ‘Don’t Look into her Eyes’ – a demi-reunion of sorts that sound rather like early-era Queensryche. It’s tracks like the Sabbathy ‘Son of the Damned’ and the powerful ballad ‘Wargames’ though that really stand out.

Worthy of your attention, not just a nostalgia trip.



Fight | Die for You | Son of the Damned | The Reaper | Finest Hour | Don’t Look in Her Eyes | I Feel Your Pain | War Games | Band of Brothers |The War Inside | Faith Healer

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