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Released: 2017, Record Breaking Records
Striker’s 2016 release STAND IN THE FIRE renewed/confirmed the faith of a lot of folks here at Metal-Rules in quality vintage metal modernized for the millennium and done right. STAND IN THE FIRE made its way into many staff members’ personal best of 2016, and punched its way to a solid #12 on Metal-Rule’s Best of 2016 overall. Thus, it is somewhat surprising to see the new self-titled out so quickly, the band’s fifth LP overall and second on their own label, Record Breaking Records. Fortunately, the material picks up right where STAND IN THE FIRE left off, proving the band’s momentum has carried over to the new album.
Like many good albums, STRIKER hits fast and hard. Thirty-three minutes later (this is the band’s shortest full-length yet), I was left feeling satisfied despite the shorter running time. I have gotten so used to metal albums getting ever longer, while Striker is finding ways to trim the fat and increase the impact. Striker’s strengths are played to the hilt on this album, as the catchy and melodic opener “Former Glory” quickly reveals with tasteful guitar fills played behind Dan Cleary’s soaring vocals. “Pass Me By” ups the metal quotient, drawing inspiration from classic Anthrax, particularly in the gang vocals and Cleary’s Belladonna-like approach before the main solo.
As good as the first half of the album is, the second half might be better. The last three songs are all classics, with “Over The Top’s” blistering verse giving way to a connecting and memorable chorus. “Freedom’s Call” briefly slows things down before kicking in and forcibly bashing its way to one of my personal favorites of the album. Ultimately, there are no weak moments here, and with the band having found a continuing winning formula with Fredrik Nordstrom, STRIKER is an album that delivers the type of mix that the sterling musical performance deserves.
If you have not experienced Striker yet, this album is a worthy place to start and should appeal to a wide range of fans, particularly followers of the Priest, Anthrax and Maiden.
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
Dan Cleary - Vocals
Adam Brown - Drums
Tim Brown - Guitars
William Wallace - Bass
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