AIRFORCE – Strike Hard

AIRFORCE - Strike Hard
  • 7.7/10
    AIRFORCE - Strike Hard - 7.7/10


Pitch Black Records
Release date: September 4, 2020

User Review
8/10 (1 vote)

The Backstory

Airforce were one of the lost bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene. Led by guitarist Chop Pitman, bassist Tony Hatton, and former Iron Maiden drummer Doug Sampson, Airforce toured for 11 years before breaking up in the mid-eighties. 2016 saw the return of Airforce to the live stage. The band released their comeback album Judgement Day shortly thereafter. A couple of EP releases and a singer change followed, and now Airforce is set to release Strike Hard on September 4, 2020.

The Album

“Fight” kicks things into gear with eighties style riffage. Vocalist Flavio Lino’s vocal style is going to seem very familiar to Iron Maiden fans. Still, they are strong and powerful. The riffs get darker and meatier on “Die For You.” Doug Sampson lays down the marching beat while Lino lays his heart on the line. Chop Pittman shows off his…er…chops on “Finest Hour,” with some fiery licks. The lyrics tell the tale of a familiar air raid story that you may or may not have heard told by Iron Maiden in 1984.

Speaking of Iron Maiden, former vocalist Paul Di’Anno makes a guest appearance on “Don’t Look in Her Eyes.” He’s still in good voice and the instrumental breakdown recalls his early years, minus one extra guitar. Airforce shows they can slow it down like the best of them but still remain tenacious on “Wargames.” “Band of Brothers” is lyrically uplifting for those brought together in times of war, but the tone is still rather dark. “The War Inside” takes the battle from the field into the mind of a damaged solider. The album closes with a cover of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band song “Faith Healer.”

The Verdict

If Airforce is trying to sound like early Iron Maiden on Strike Hard, then mission accomplished. Die-hard Maiden fans may be quick to dismiss Airforce as imitators, but imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Strike Hard is a solid 80s style metal album. Besides, Iron Maiden hasn’t released a new album in five years. You might as well enjoy Strike Hard while you’re waiting for the next one.



  1. Fight
  2. Die for You
  3. Son of the Damned
  4. The Reaper
  5. Finest Hour
  6. Son’t Look in Her Eyes
  7. I Feel Your Pain
  8. Wargames
  9. Band of Brothers
  10. The War Inside
  11. Faith Healer


  • George Dionne

    George was a contributor here at Metal Express Radio, reviewing albums and conducting interviews, out of Massachusetts, USA. George has contributed to numerous music related websites and blogs, and even managed his own from 2004-2009. George's first assignment was covering a live show by the mighty GWAR. By contrast his later assignments featured Judas Priest, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi. George was also the front man for the South Eastern Massachusetts cover band Sound Tower from 2009-2015.  Sound Tower played 300+ shows across MA and had two original songs on the Cape Cod radio station PIXY 103. George enjoys a good whiskey, scotch, and/or bourbon and fights crime in his spare time.

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