STRIKER – STRIKER
Release Date: February 24th, 2017
Bands like Striker have come many times before. Bands that are influenced so clearly by classic metal groups that they actually get to the point where it’s hard to believe you’re listening to an album in the year it was released and not some long lost recording of a traditional metal legend of choice. While it’s rare rare that these bands sound bad, it is very common for them to seem to be little more than a boring rehash. Usually when reviewing bands like of this traditional ilk, it all starts to sound the same and I end up repeating myself from previous reviews. The prevailing thought however when hearing this self-titled Striker album is the question, why the hell do I like it so much?
It’s true that Striker aren’t doing anything new with this album. This is not one of those albums that takes in the old and adds something new to make for some kind of twist. This is an album full of pure unashamed metal songs that sound like some cult favourite band from the 80s could have written and recorded. But in an unexpected way my ears seem so much more invested in every aspect of Striker’s sound.
Even my best attempt at figuring out fun ways of describing the songs were falling flat. Striker starts the album off with Former Glory and Pass Me By. Both of these fierce and dominant metal songs introduce the band perfectly. These songs will actually also prove to be the slowest paced tracks on the album but are not in fact slow-paced at all giving testimony to the furious pace of the album. The double bass drum of Born to Lose, the third track on Striker, raises the intensity that is maintained through the balance of the album. The final track, Curse of the Dead, is where they turn things up one more notch, nearing the tempo of speed metal.
After a week or so of trying thinking, I came to the conclusion that Striker‘s secret lies in their melodies. A lot of these bands typically have good melodies, both musically and vocally, but Striker seem to take an extra minute or so when thinking things through which makes the songs stronger than your run of the mill NWOBHM influenced bands.
Through every track it’s clear that Striker singer Dan Cleary‘s vocals are what make most of the songs stand out. The harmonies of Shadows in the Light and Rock the Night, the way his voice matches the ferocity of Over the Top and especially (let me double emphasize that word “especially”) the chorus of Freedom’s Call, which is easily the best moment on the album. Tim Brown‘s guitar playing is also perfectly on point on every song as well. He shows great shredding techniques throughout, but keeps a melody and lets the music breathe.
There is definitely an element of the metal community that craves classic sounding metal bands, similar to those of the NWOBHM movement of the early 80s. I mean, there must be a community for these bands and Lord knows enough of them are recording and releasing albums. Off the top of my head I can only think of a very select few, of the ones I’ve reviewed, that stand out, and Striker has been added to that short list. This, their fourth release, is definitely worth grabbing if you dig a traditional metal vibe with soaring, memorable vocal melodies and great old fashioned riffage.
Thanks for reading!
8 (Out of 10)
|2.||Pass Me By||3:34|
|3.||Born to Lose||3:59|
|5.||Shadows in the Light||3:30|
|6.||Rock the Night||4:31|
|7.||Over the Top||4:39|
|9.||Curse of the Dead||3:50|