Thursday, June 30, 2016

review: Striker

Stand In The Fire
Record Breaking Records
Release: 5 February 2016
One of the purposes of a review is to present an opinion on an upcoming album. Thus, given that this album has been out for months now, this review is a fail in that regard. The quality of the album merits that audiences supportive of traditional heavy metal, which Striker executes like champs, give it thought, if they have not done so. Infectious and addictive, Striker is all about melodies and memorable of classic heavy metal, but this is not retro, it is a modern band playing the classic metal of today. Striker plays traditional heavy metal and it just so happens that they are really good at it. They run the gamut from thrashy stompers to anthems and songs that are meant to sound like hit singles. They began in 2007 and this is their fourth title. Devoted followers of traditional metal, especially in the band's home country of Canada, already know the band because they are not exactly a secret anymore. The cat is out of the bag and supporters of the genre already know.
On this new album the band has created a problem for themselves: most of the songs sound like hits and anthems and now they will have to figure out how to top it. Ah, but that's their problem, not the listener's! You'll have your favorite songs and you might even change your mind about your favorite tracks the more you get to know the album. There is one requirement that you need to meet: if catchy songs is something that you are seeking, then get ready to rock. Yes, it all seems very clichéd, but it is not until you hear this little monster that you'll understand.
Let's sum up the situation: classic heavy metal reinterpreted for today and it is made to sound like hit songs, which they would be, if heavy metal were on the radio. Avoid this album if you hate melodic singing and songs that you can remember. Striker is out for blood and it's not too late to stand with them in fire. Uptight snobs and cynical people won't like it, but that's ok, Striker doesn't need them, anyway. Heavy metal thunder, indeed.
OFFICIAL INFORMATION: “Full Speed or No Speed”: prophetic words to live by from Striker’s debut full length release “Eyes in the Night”. Since forming nearly 8 years ago, not a day goes by without the pedal to the metal attitude that smashes through the traffic jam of modern metal. “Stand in the Fire”, Striker’s 4th studio album, prepares to shift the band into high gear and leave the competition in the dust. Guest performances from some of metal’s premiere players as well as other unprecedented collaborations prepare a high octane mix that is ready for ignition. This will be Striker’s strongest album to date, living a life set by one rule: no limits!
Striker has come a long with since their 2007 formation in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The band’s first demo immediately caught international attention from notable German record label, Iron Kodex. Backed by the label’s support, Striker went on to record and release their first EP, “Road Warrior”, in early 2009. The EP spread like wildfire among metal fans in Canada, Germany, and Spain. It was this first major stepping-stone in kick starting a promising career.
In 2010 the band released their first full-length recording, “Eyes in the Night”, which reinforced Striker’s presence in both the domestic and international metal scene. The release initiated the band’s touring career: including Canada coast to coast, and over a dozen European countries with several festival appearances (Metal Assault Festival, and Headbangers Open Air) overseas. This established the credibility of Striker as a hardworking, dedicated band, willing to take the risks necessary to make it to the next level of their musical career.
Over the years Striker continued to refine their public image, hone their product, and solicit support within the music industry. Having completed the Iron Kodex contract with Eyes in the Night, the band looked towards greater achievements and began working with producer Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica, Skid Row) in Nashville, Tennessee. After spending over two months recording in the USA the band completed their 2nd album, “Armed to the Teeth”, and was promptly signed by prominent Austrian label Napalm Records July 27, 2012.
Hot off the heels of the album release announcement, Striker was selected to directly support heavy metal giants Metallica for 2 sold out shows at Rexall Place in Edmonton. The shows were a huge boost to the band and showed them the inner workings of one of the most successful bands in history. With a newfound work ethic, the band set to work planning their biggest Canadian and European tours to date, breaking into new territories such as the UK and Japan. With the desire to improve and expand to even greater heights, the band remained in Europe after a headlining tour and began to work on the album “City of Gold” with visionary producer Frederik Nordstrom, a founding member of the melodic death metal sound.
“City of Gold” was critically acclaimed and propelled Striker forward in the industry, directly supporting veteran acts such as Bullet and Artillery on extensive tours of Europe and the United States. Major European festivals began to take interest, with the band headlining smaller festivals such as Devilstone Festival and Headbangers Open Air, and headlining the second stage at major festivals such as Metal Days Festival to enormous crowds. Working again with Frederik Nordstrom, “Stand in the Fire” sees Striker taking their destiny into their own hands by releasing the album on their own label “Record Breaking Records”, ushering in a new era of decisive action, dedication and forward thinking. Live life by one rule: No Limits!
review by MMB

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