New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal from Canada.

Road Warrior Striker - Road Warrior (Iron Kodex) 2009

1. Road Warrior (3:21)
2. Lord Of The Sword (4:58)
3. Fire (3:44)
4. Dark Heart of the City (5:51)
5. The Keg That Crushed New York (3:58)

Flying out of the cold, dark Great White North like a bat out of hell, Canada's Striker are a lean, mean, heavy metal machine. On this EP, their first release, the band had something to prove. As such you get the entire gamut of heavy metal essentials; fast and furious riffs, speedy licks, essential double bass, battering ram bass, helium-high, glass shattering vocals and even some memorable hooks. The albums opening track is an immediately like-able speed metal romp leading titled "Road Warrior". Follow-up track "Lord of the Sword" takes the tempo down but is only a slightly tamer heavy metal song than the opening. The song features a sing-along chorus and a smokin' lead guitar section. "Fire" is another mid-paced heavy metal song that reminds me of "Thundersteel"-era Riot. "Dark Heart of the City" starts off with a mellow intro before breaking into another fast-paced, speed metal number. The album ends with the amusingly titled "The Keg That Crushed New York". This song is pure thrash metal. Striker brings the whole package. They are not breaking any new ground, but then again it's not really about that. It's about real heavy metal and to that degree Striker delivers the goods.

Eyes in the Night Striker - Eyes In The Night (Iron Kodex) 2010

1. Full Speed Or No Speed (3:10)
2. Eyes In The Night (4:13)
3. We Don't Play By The Rules (3:42)
4. Never Ending Nights (4:37)
5. The White Knight (3:55)
6. Voice Of Rock (4:09)
7. Ice Cold (4:54)
8. Terrorizer (4:22)
9. Believe In Me (5:49)
10. Hang On (To Your Life)(4:16)

Canada's STriker are one of the bands on the forefront of the war on crap music. They are one of the band's that are part of the New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal. "Eyes in the Night" is their first full length album. The album opens up with the appropriately titled "Full Speed or No Speed" a song that recalls classic double-bass fueled heavy metal tracks such as "Fast As a Shark" and "Painkiller". This pretty much sets the mood for the entire album. Galloping rhythms, speedy licks, up-tempos, and everything else anyone might expect from a traditional heavy metal band. Their sound is a mix of faster paced NWOBHM and American power metal bands, and most specifically Riot's "Thundersteel". This is especially true of songs like "Eyes of the Night" and "Voice of Rock" which definitely channel the faster Riot material. Vocalist Dan Cleary has a clean singing style that reminds me of Kai Hansen (Helloween, Gamma Ray) at times. Where I think that Striker can improve in their sound is to have a bit more variety in tempos and more memorable songs. It actually took me several listens to really warm up to this album. However, once I did I found an album that is easily stands up to other NWOTHM bands such as Enforcer and Holy Grail.

Striker Striker - City Of Gold (Napalm) 2014

1.  Underground (3:00)
2.  City Of Gold (4:51)
3.  Start Again (4:26)
4.  Bad Decisions (3:58)
5.  Crossroads (4:23)
6.  All For One (3:25)
7.  Mind Control (3:20)
8.  Second Attack (3:40)
9.  All I Want (4:18)
10. Rise Up (3:28)
11. Taken By Time (4:58)
12. Two Minutes To Midnight (6:01)
13. Watching You (3:56)
14. Roll With The Punches (3:58)
15. Fuck Volcanoes (5:18)

The third full-length effort by Canadian metal act Striker sees the band widening their sound while still keeping their feet firmly planted in the classic heavy metal territory. The album opens with two tracks that continue the bands balance between traditional metal and thrash metal, resulting in a vision power/thrash attack. (Not unlike Iced Earth, Ultimatum, Metal Church and early Running Wild or Rage.) The opening track 'Underground' is an uptempo thrasher, while the title track combines some thrash-like aggression with a catchy chorus. The title track actually has a riff that reminds me of classic W.A.S.P.. Likewise "Crossroads" pushes toward that thrash metal vibe, though still keeping a foot in traditional heavy metal. This is generally been the band's sound since their very first EP. Fast tempos, speedy licks, a fast and furious rhythm section and screaming vocals rom Dan Cleary. However, on this album the band widens their sound offering some old school Judas Priest-like riffage combined with Maiden-esque guitar melodies on super catchy songs like "Bad Decisions" and "All I Want". These songs have that sing-along, anthemic style that made albums like "British Steel" and "Lights Out" great in the early 80's. Frankly, it was this eclecticism that made the first wave of hard rock/heavy metal bands from the 1970's as well as the early 80's new wave of heavy metal bands so great. They weren't so rigid in their approach. Striker's "City Of Gold" is easily their best album yet. Hopefully an album like this will help push them into greater success.

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