Monday, April 3, 2017

STRIKER - Striker [Japanese Edition +2] (2017)

STRIKER - Striker [Japanese Edition +2] (2017) full

Canadian, Edmonton based cult legends STRIKER are back with a killer self-titled album. No, not the religious rock band from the '80s. This Striker are an incredible traditional metal / hard rock band, who have been sharing their fist-pumping, headbanging brand of rocking tunes for close to a decade.
This Japanese Edition includes not one, but two bonus tracks.

In case you’ve never heard of these Canadians, there couldn’t be a better moment to get to know such distinct band and their classic mix of classic metal, traditional hard rock and '80s hair metal.
Striker was formed in 2007 and has toured across dozens of countries as headliners as well as support for major metal acts in their rising career.
This self-titled CD is their fifth studio album, and packs the perfect recipe for fans of the unparalleled music by Judas Priest, Keel and Motley Crue, as well as Scandinavian melodic metal acts such as early Europe or Pretty Maids.

At places, Striker's sound is the perfect storm of classic heavy metal, rather bombastic and roaring, perhaps best defined by the song 'Over The Top', a smashing riff monster at break neck speed. I’ve always loved clean vocals and a strong high range, and frontman Dan Cleary has this in spades.
But there's more.

That catchy hard rock groove can be found within 'Rock The Night' or 'Born To Lose', the latter being one of my favorites. Musically it has it all; it’s incredibly hooky, with the combination of riffs and Cleary’s vocals really selling it.
One of the things I’ve always admired about Striker is how proud they are to wear their influences on their sleeves. I can hear how some of the big names in metal history have left their mark on the band, especially in what guitarist Tim Brown does. The solo on 'Born to Lose' is just so… uplifting! I can’t not smile as I make my way through this song.

STRIKER - Striker [Japanese Edition +2] (2017) booklet

For raging melodic metal, turn up 'Curse Of The Dead'. Or, for a combination of moderation and briskness, combined with deliberate heaviness, dig 'Pass Me Bay'.
'Cheating Death' is a short and atmospheric bridge to the incendiary 'Shadows In The Light', a moving tune that lives up to the legacy of old school Hard Rock ignited by potent bass punches, also offering the listener beautiful guitar solos and thrilling beats.

Don't expect any syrupy ballads; they're not here.
But on this Japanese edition we have two juicy bonuses; 'Desire' is killer hard rocker with that aforementioned hair metal catchiness, a nod to the mid-Eighties scene, and I love it.
Then 'Heart Of A Lion' is some kind of a Dokken-meets-Europe-1984, plenty of epic vocals, swirling guitar licks and a killer chorus.
It's a shame the Japanese bonuses are not included into the world-wide release, because are among the best!

STRIKER - Striker [Japanese Edition +2] (2017) back

This fifth album is pure Striker doing what they do best: roaring, guitar forward, and blistering melodic heavy metal / hard rock / hair metal. An explosive cocktail very well rounded and catchy as Hell.

01 - Former Glory
02 - Pass Me By
03 - Born To Lose
04 - Cheating Death
05 - Shadows In The Light
06 - Rock The Night
07 - Over The Top
08 - Freedom's Call
09 - Curse Of The Dead
10 - Desire
11 - Heart Of A Lion

Dan Cleary - Lead Vocals
Tim Brown - Guitar
Adam Brown - Drums
William Wallace - Bass



Adi Thursday, April 06, 2017  

Killer album indeed! Has everything I love about Heavy Metal. "Desire" is a Ozzy Osbourne cover.

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