“Striker” 2017 – CD REVIEW by Adam McCann
Record: Breaking Records 2017
One of the best things to happen to Heavy Metal in the last 10 years is the rise of bands playing a more Traditional Heavy Metal sound. These bands have taken their inspiration from the likes of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Accept and Manowar, mixing it up with the catchy good-time feel melodic hooks of Van Halen, Mötley Crüe and Def Leppard. One such band to blast this Traditional Heavy Metal are Canada’s best kept secret, Striker.
Striker released their debut album Eyes in the Night in 2010 and since then, Striker have released 5 studio albums, 2 of which have been with Napalm Records giving the band some rather good worldwide exposure. More recently, Striker have forged their own way in the world by choosing to forego an established record label and released their latest album, the eponymous Striker, on their own Record Breaking Records. This of course has its advantages, Striker are now their own bosses and in control of their own destiny as well as having complete creative control with 2017 seeing them not only release Striker, but also head out onto the road with Finnish Power Metal heroes, Sonata Arctica.
Wasting no time with an intro track, Striker blasts into action with the instantly infectious Former Glory, a track with all the hooks that you will ever need. Former Glory contains a fantastic riff, a catchy memorable chorus that is actually hugely guilty for an earworm. You will be humming this for days as the track itself is pure late 80’s melody with a guitar solo to boot!
In fact, Striker delivers a one-two punch with Former Glory and the almost Anthrax driven Pass Me By. Pass Me By has that on the beat fast riffing and blast beats that with entice any Anthrax or Suicidal Tendencies fan in with its Crossover sound as you can almost hear the skateboard wheels grinding along and if this song doesn’t feature in an upcoming Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game then a great injustice will be done to Striker. After this combo punch, Striker decide this is a good time to boot you in the gut with the Lemmy inspired Born to Lose. Just like the opening track, Born to Lose is coupled with a chorus that is straight out of the late 80’s. It is simple yet effective and how much more can you ask for? If Pass Me By didn’t peak your interest then Born to Lose certainly will.
There is actually only one pointless track on Striker and that is the instrumental interlude of Cheating Death which comes out at under a minute. But after that commercial break, Striker returns with a non-stop arsenal of songs and then it is back to back party time, so much that you can smell the beer, denim and leather emanating from the record as it burns through tracks such as Rock the Night, Freedom’s Call and the final track with its fist in the air chorus, Curse of the Dead.
Striker is actually a really good album, it is an album by a band which enjoy what they do and Striker don’t need a big label behind them to show that. In fact, kudos to Striker for doing this on their own, they own the road and haven’t faltered. Other than the instrumental, this album is fantastic and deserves to not go under the radar. An excellent record from an excellent band. 8/10
Adam McCann / MHF Magazine