Album Review: Striker - 'Stand In The Fire'

8 February 2016 | 12:47 pm | Alex Sievers
Originally Appeared In

Basically Bon Jovi on some mad roids.

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Striker are a speed/power metal band from Canada, and their new album ‘Stand In The Fire’ ain’t half bad. As you might expect, chugging riffs and shredding leads, pounding drums, and huge, soaring vocals are the order of the day for this four-piece group.

However, we're not going to lie, this band is a little cheesy (if you couldn’t already tell by that cover) and that’s probably because of song names ‘Escape From Shred City’ (an instrumental filled with, you guessed it, shredding) and ‘The Iron Never Lies’. And also because, you know, they are a power metal band so the ham-fisted clichés are a given. But, when you push past the clichés of the respective genre, there’s a lot to like here.

The solos for one are a definite stand out, and every now and then the drums become more than just typical backbeats or fast double bass and double time grooves. Oh, and the vocals are just so on-point (as they need to be for this style), and the range of Dan Cleary's voice is nuts (again, as it needs to be for this style), reaching heights you don't see in a lot of other current metal bands.

It's interesting, in an age where bands evoking what veterans like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden achieved is pretty damn seldom, with groups instead preferring other, perhaps trendier styles of metal, to hear a breath of fresh air. It’s not original, not by any means, but this is a solid record filled with 11 monolithic anthems and probably the most “traditional” metal sounding record you’ll hear in 2016. If that's right up your alley, you better drive on up there, boyo.

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Moreover, not to discredit any other forms of metal, but there obviously has to be a strong level of talent for bands like this, simply because the music can be quite demanding. These dudes have talent, no doubt, and the production and mix is not only suitable to the style, but it really elevates them out of the crowd. That’s probably because Fredrick Nordstrom mixed this and he could make a fart sound like the greatest metal release of all time – he’s just that fucking good.

We'll keep it simple for you. If you dig old school metal bands, then a younger act embodying that sound, like Striker, is exactly what you’ll want in your ear holes.

1. Better Times

2. Escape From Shred City

3. Locked In

4. One Life

5.Out For Blood

6. Outlaw

7. Phoenix Lights

8. Stand in the Fire

9. The Iron Never Lies

10. Too Late

11. United