Striker – Striker

Some of you may recall in December I wrote about being clueless to the greatness of White Widdow. Well, here I go again. While reading a list of highly anticipated albums for 2017 on another online publication, I came across the band Striker. The writer talked of them with such fervor; I had to check them out. I decided to go to YouTube and the first video that pops up for them is the song ‘Phoenix Lights’ from their 2016 album Stand in the Fire. BOOM!!! Again, like my situation with White Widdow, I was taken aback by something so familiar, yet so fresh. I immediately gobbled up all the info on the band I could in anticipation of their latest self-titled release that hits the shelves this Friday, February 24, 2017 courtesy of SAOL / Record Breaking Records.

Striker is an Edmonton-based heavy metal band founded in 2007 by the guitarist Ian Sandercock and vocalist Dan Cleary. Like many bands, Striker has had some personnel changes over the years. However, this may be the best line up Cleary has had to back him in Striker yet. Their current line up consists of Cleary, guitarist Tim Brown, bassist William “Wild Bill” Wallace, and drummer Adam Brown. Now, when I call Striker a heavy metal band, I mean it in the purest sense. They are not heavy enough to be death or any of its derivations. Striker hits that sweet spot between AOR, thrash, and power metal. They have all the melody and hooks along with a little speed, crunch, and balls. Opening track ‘Former Glory’ has this in spades. Cleary’s vocals sound huge along with Brown’s guitar. Leadoff single ‘Born to Lose’ takes everything up another notch. Tim Brown’s solo on this track smokes as he takes it from sweep to shred. Two other stand out songs on the album are ‘Over the Top’ and ‘Freedom’s Call.’ The first opens with a riff reminiscent of something from Skid Row before the other Brown and Wild Bill gallop the song on to glory. The second starts slow before Tim Brown’s crunchy riffs and spacey leads kick us into an Iron Maidenish jaunt. I know I’ve written quite a bit about Tim Brown’s guitar playing, but I just can’t help it! The dude absolutely kills it on this record from track to track. He even blows the closing cover of Ozzy/Moterhead’s ‘Desire’ out of the water.

With ten tracks in just over 38 minutes, Striker is all killer and no filler. Each song comes in, cranks, and gets you ready for the next one. With Tim Brown’s electric playing and Wild Bill and Adam Brown’s air tight rhythm section, this may be the best line up Cleary has had to back his soaring vocals in Striker yet. I may have been missing the boat for the last ten years, but I won’t be anymore. Striker is in my earholes, and won’t be leaving it anytime soon.

Songs:

  1. Former Glory
  2. Pass Me By
  3. Born to Lose
  4. Cheating Death
  5. Shadows in the Light
  6. Rock the Night
  7. Over the Top
  8. Freedom’s Call
  9. Curse of the Dead
  10. Desire

Playing Time: 38:49

Release Date: February 24, 2017

Label: Record Breaking Records

Website: www.striker-metal.com

 

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