Canadian rockers Striker have killed it on their self-titled fifth full-length album. The four-piece deliver a super tight album of great tracks that have an immediacy to them that drives you to listen.
The album is short, 9 tracks, coming in at just over 33 minutes, but it is an intense, streamlined attack. Striker has trimmed any fat, keeping the focus on strong playing and songwriting. The lineup is Dan Cleary on vocals, William Wallace on bass, Adam Brown on drums, and Tim Brown handles all the guitar work.
The album opens with “Former Glory”, which is my favorite track on the album. The track has a great hook, with a heavy 80’s hard rock feel. Striker does a great job of balancing technical & catchy. Next up is “Pass Me By”, a thrashy track with big gang vocals. “Born To Lose” is Striker‘s first single. They have released a lyric video for the track at the first of the year. “Born To Lose” has another great riff & chorus. I like how they balance catchy & heavy. Dan Cleary‘s vocals remind me of Joey Belladonna. Combine his vocals with the gang vocals and the album feels like a poppier Anthrax.
The next track is an instrumental, “Cheating Death”. It serves as a lead-in to “Shadows In The Light” as Adam Brown‘s drums transition to the intro. “Shadows In The Light” is the most epic-feeling track on the album. The highlight of the track is Tim Brown‘s guitar work, with entertaining solo work. You’ve got to hear Cleary‘s scream at the end of the track. “Rock The Night” changes up the pace as it starts more mellow but then jumps back into the big gang vocals once the chorus hits.
“Over The Top” and “Freedom’s Call” both feel like they could’ve been on an 80’s soundtrack like Iron Eagle, only with a lot more bite! I would love to see “Freedom’s Call” live. The guitar work is ripping. The last track, “Curse Of The Dead”, is another nod to classic 80’s metal albums, the ones that have a shredder as the closer. Crazy screams, double bass drumming & fills everywhere, and of course shredding, legitimate shredding! The perfect way to close out the album.
The production is great. Very clean and sounds great. Striker has created a compelling amalgam of heavy and melodic, technical while still being catchy. Big hooks and riffs are all over the place on this album. I love the vocals. Big gang vocals that don’t sound cheesy. Big drum fills and massive guitar solos. This album has everything you need. Well done, Striker!