Striker: ‘Striker’

To be released on February 24, 2017 (Record Breaking Records)

For their fifth studio album, Striker have interestingly decided to step away from their often long and complex songs and come up with stripped down tracks that are shorter but stronger in terms of their proverbial punch. For many, Striker are known as essentially a thrash metal band emanating from western Canada. With their self-titled new album, Striker take a giant step in shedding that image. Sure, the thrash elements to their music are still there but they are now combined with tons of melodies. It’s almost as if Striker are now a blend between vintage Anthrax circa Spreading The Disease (1985) and Among The Living (1987) and the heaviest Eclipse songs that you can think of. The results are simply outstanding!

The complaints that I had about Striker‘s sometimes overly complicated songs on their last album Stand In The Fire have evaporated on Striker this time around. That makes Striker one hell of an album. I note that I felt there were some Anthrax influences on Stand In The Fire and they are prevalent once again on Striker and especially with the songs “Pass Me By” and “Shadows In The Light.” It seems on those two tracks that Striker lead vocalist Dan Cleary could easily pass for Joey Belladona on Anthrax‘s second and third albums. Although guitarist Tim Brown is listed as the only guitarist, I find that there are some awesome guitar harmonies at times. Given that Striker do employ another guitarist when playing live, those guitar harmonies will not be lost in a live setting. My favorite tracks on Striker are the first single “Born To Lose” as well as “Over The Top” and “Freedom’s Call” with their killer chorus melodies. I think the songs could still have been kept a little simpler at times such as on “Freedom’s Call” which incorporates a few too many guitar ideas but for the most part, the simpler and shorter tracks on Striker work very well. One unnecessary track is the less than a minute long interlude “Cheating Death.” That one could have easily been dropped.

I am kind of shocked on how well that Striker have been able to incorporate melodies into their thrash sound on Striker. Quite simply, the guys have done a great job simplifying their music and incorporating lots of melodies while keeping the thrash elements that they are known for. Aside from the less than one minute long “Cheating Death,” it’s pedal to the metal all the way through the album. Back when I had interviewed Striker guitarist Tim Brown a few months ago, I had suggested to him that Striker would have a more commercial sound than before based on what he was describing to me about the band’s new album. To me, “commercial music” has always pretty much meant selling out but in no way, shape or form are Striker selling out on their new self-titled album. Rather, they have come up with a very exciting combination of thrash meets a whole lot of melodic rock, and they should be applauded for those results.

Overall, Striker‘s new self-titled album is a very pleasant 30 plus minutes of thrash metal with tons of melodic rock references that make for one heck of an album!

Track List:
01. Former Glory 
02. Pass Me By
03. Born To Lose 
04. Cheating Death 
05. Shadows In The Light 
06. Rock The Night 
07. Over The Top
08. Freedom’s Call 
09. Curse Of The Dead 

Band Members:
Dan Cleary – vocals
Adam Brown – drums
Tim Brown – guitar
William Wallace – bass

Additional Musicians:
Simon Fallon – guest guitar solo (9)
Adam Grimmelt – outro guitar solo (9)
John Kennedy – gang vocals
Dave Arnold – gang vocals
Chris Segger – gang vocals
Lindsay Robinson – gang vocals
Clayton Parent – gang vocals
Tyler Dory – gang vocals

Guitars, bass and vocals recorded by Dan Cleary
Drums recorded by Terry Tran
Mixed and mastered by Frederick Nordström

Band Websites:
Official Website

Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, February 2017

Striker‘s “Born To Lose” song:

Born To Lose by Strikermetal

New single Born to Lose!