Saturday, August 12, 2017

review: Striker

review by MMB
release date: February 24th, 2017
label: Record Breaking Records
The Canadian heavy metal prodigies followed 2016's very good album Stand in the Fire with a new album early in 2017 and it's a self-titled work. They know very well that in today's musical climate you have to strike when the iron is hot and take all the chips that you can get while you can get them. The 2016 album was very well received and it put the band in a good position to continue making progress with the band's objectives on all fronts. Therefore, here they are ready to go at it again. Striker's 2016 album had everything in heavy metal: great singing, catchy songs, the guitar riffs and solos and a wonderful energy about it all, with fast songs, uptempo tracks and the hits all over.
The new songs sound exactly like Striker should. The energy, the vibe is fun and rocking. They sound enthusiastic and entertaining, and there's a feeling that they have confidence in their abilities as a band, with headbanging riffs and a general high level of energy. The guitar work is classic-style sounds that are meant to connect quickly with the listener. Hooks and melodies are stockpiled and utilized to great success, as the band has done in the past.
The simplest way that I can explain how great the singing is that I can put this music on with a smile, knowing that I will hear good singing without any irritating qualities. The voice does not bother my ears in any way. Striker happens to have one of the best and clearest singers that you will hear nowadays amongst the younger generation of traditional heavy metal bands. The voice hits the high notes when called for and when that happens it sounds good, without any problems; just natural and smooth, which is important in this type of singing.
The album is just 33 minutes long, and it's actually less than that because the track "Cheating Death" is not a song but rather a one minute interlude. Metal Archives shows a bonus track called "Desire" (Ozzy cover) but I have not heard it because my copy doesn't have it.
Anyway, in traditional heavy metal you can have good riffs, solos and songs and everything, but if the singing is not right, it doesn't work. It's hard to listen to music with vocals that, for whatever reasons, annoy you. When everything is right and the singing is right, too, that's when the magic happens. That's the time for Striker.
By the way, Seattle, Striker comes to town with Dark Tranquillity and Warbringer on September 29 at El Corazón.

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