Sky Of Rage was founded by Tomas Friberg ad Joachim Nordlund, long time friends who were hanging out together and swapped ideas which led to the first songs of Sky Of Rage. After they had gathered some songs they started looking for a singer who could do powerful clean vocals and growls - and they found Staffan Carlsson. It took them awhile to complete the line-up. It started in 2009 and in 2011 bassist Mika Itäranta was the last who joined. Earlier this year they started recording their debut at Joachim's Big Turn Studio. For the mix they hooked up with former Astral Doors guitarist Martin Haglund. Does SOR to sound like Astral Doors? A bit. Sounds like Countdown are catchy and have an 80's edge - especially the keyboard. Personally I like Staffan Carlsson's vocals a lot, coz he has a more unique style. At Sky Of Rage Mr. Carlsson switches between clean vocals and uses growls only here and there. To be honest I would like to hear a few more growls... Songs like the opener Stardust and Sky Of Rage are easy to get into. For If There Was A God they slow down a bit, but it isn't a ballad! The tune is based on a heavy groove spiced up with slower passages. The closer Slave is a balladesque one, but still heavy and riff-based.
It's obvious that the roots are the same as Astral Doors, but there are many other bands who have the same influences. Personally I would prefer Sky Of Rage to Astral Doors, but that's just me and it's all about the vocals. Don't get me wrong Nils Patrik Johansson is a great singer, just I prefer Carlsson's vocal style.