STAND IN THE FIRE
Released on February 5, 2016 (Record Breaking Records)
I got to say that I was surprised by how old school Striker‘s sound (with at times a whole lot of guitar shredding) is on their fourth studio album Stand In The Fire. Truth be told, this is the first Striker record that I have ever heard so it could well be that this is nothing new to Striker enthusiasts.
Hailing from the City of Edmonton in Western Canada, Striker carry the thrash metal torch with pride and finesse. Having interviewed Striker guitarist Tim Brown just a few days ago (hopefully the interview will be posted soon), the changes that Striker have apparently undergone for their next studio album are exactly the things that I would recommend need a little fine tuning while listening to Stand In The Fire.
I got to start by saying how much I like the guitar tone / sound on the album. It sounds quite retro ’80s and I love it. I also really like Dan Cleary‘s voice who has one hell of a set of pipes. What I am not crazy about is the plethora of instruments and excess guitar shredding that make the songs simply sound too busy. I have always liked songs that are simpler built on a stellar guitar riff and often Striker go over the top during their songs filling them with some crazy guitar shredding. In addition, it appears that Striker are sometimes guilty of cutting and pasting different parts of song ideas that they might have come up with together into one track making for a difficult transition from one part to the next, which hurts the flow of the song.
When Striker focus on keeping things simpler and in one direction, I think the results are much better. For instance, “Locked In” is a fast thrash type song that reminds me of old school Anthrax with Cleary‘s vocals but that stays the course throughout and is built on one cool guitar riff. “United” is another solid simpler track built on a great guitar riff and which is not quite as fast paced as some of the other tracks. The album opener “Phoenix Lights” is yet another example of where Striker keep it simple with some nice guitar melodies, a strong chorus and a solid guitar riff to start the song.
Where Striker tend to go overboard is when they seemingly have too many things going at once. The second song “Out For Blood” is a good example where it sounds like there are some sort of horns towards the end and tons of guitar shredding, which doesn’t seem to go that well with the rest of the track. The title track “Stand In The Fire” is an example of seemingly a miss mash of song ideas being seemingly thrown together to make one song that doesn’t seem to have much flow.
There’s no doubt that the Striker band members are all talented musicians who are quite adept at bringing back the old school thrash sound but in a more modern presentation. I prefer Striker‘s more straight forward and less complicated compositions so I am really looking forward to hearing their next studio album, which I understand will be released in early 2017.
01. Phoenix Lights
02. Out For Blood
03. Too Late
04. Stand In The Fire
05. The Iron Never Lies
06. Escape From Shred City
08. Locked In
10. Better Times
11. One Life
Dan Clearly – vocals
Tim Brown – lead/rhythm guitars
William Wallace – bass
Adam Brown – drums
Randy Black – drums
Mixed by Frederik Nordstrom
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, December 2016
Striker‘s “Phoenix Lights” video:
Phoenix Lights: Striker’s new single from the album, “Stand in the Fire”. New online store with exclusive “Phoenix Lights” merch plus all our old designs in mens, womens, tank tops, t-shirts, and more! https://strikermetal.myshopify.com/ Check out http://www.striker-metal.com for all the details on new albums, merch, tours, and other details!
Striker‘s “Too Late” video:
Too Late: Striker’s new single from their upcoming album, “Stand in the Fire”. New online store with exclusive “Phoenix Lights” merch plus all our old designs in mens, womens, tank tops, t-shirts, and more! https://strikermetal.myshopify.com/ Check out http://www.striker-metal.com for all the details on new albums, merch, tours, and other details!