Friday, February 24, 2017

QUICK HITS: Striker - Striker

The 12 month plan

Longtime readers of mine may remember that Striker actually released the very first album to win my official Album of the Year award back in 2010 (with Eyes in the Night, which still holds up and absolutely fucking rules), but my relationship with them has been sorta weird ever since then.  I always compare them to Enforcer since they came out around roughly the same time and helped spearhead this trad metal revival in the late 00s/early 10s, but Enforcer has been slugging home run after home run whereas Striker only managed one more total classic (City of Gold) and two other decent albums that didn't stick with me (Armed to the Teeth and Stand in the Fire).  Barely a year after the latter album, they're back already with a shorter, more streamlined self titled album, and I've gotta say they're keeping with the "good album - meh album" flip flopping, because this one is awesome.  Excluding the bonus track and the short interlude, there are only eight tracks here compared to the previous album's eleven, and it works to their advantage because they've always been a shallow band of surface flash (which obviously doesn't bother me, there's a reason I listen to fifty generic speed metal bands for every one complex prog band) so it doesn't overstay its welcome.  At just a little over a half hour long, this is a great blast of energy, blazing leads, and some of the heaviest riffing they've ever managed.  Seriously, tracks like "Over the Top", "Curse of the Dead", and "Pass Me By" just utterly decimate any of their previous songs in terms of ferocity.  There are some more traditional rockers like "Rock the Night" but those quick and heavy cookers are the true standouts of the album.  Special mention has to be made for "Born to Lose" as well for being one of their best tracks yet.  It's not as speedy and vicious as something like "Pass Me By" but it's certainly one of the catchiest tracks they've penned yet.  It's not their strongest album, and I'd say it's probably right smack in the middle of their five albums, but that has more to do with how phenomenal the good albums are and how sharp the dropoff is for their more mediocre ones.  Give it a go, it certainly rocks more than it has any right to.

RATING - 81%

1 comment:

  1. Song 2 has a shitty kind of rap-rock delivery to some of the vocals, but aside from that, the album is a ripper! -Mike K.