Released: 2009, Iron Kodex
There seems to be a minor surge or resurgence in traditional, classic and/or 'true' metal in Western Canada. A number of capable bands have emerged in the past year or so and one of the latest and greatest is Striker. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, listed as one of the coldest places on the planet, Striker bring both hot lead and cold steel to the party.
This five track EP demonstrates a surprisingly high degree of talent and sophistication for a young band. There are certain components of this quartet that some might label as unoriginal but I feel that adherence to the archetypes of the genre is a major bonus. For example, the lyrics of the song 'Fire'. Some critics might feel the chorus of, 'Fire, Burning in the Night' is a bit mundane but the words are delivered with such passion and conviction you can't help but smile and sing along.
I have had the pleasure of seeing them a few times and vocalist Dan is a very charismatic front-man and entertainer. His range is strong but his delivery is a real high point, as he sings his heart out, on the disc and on the stage. Is it possible to over-deliver the goods in metal? I think not! Check out the screams near the end of 'Dark Heart Of The City'!
The band are no slouches either, they know their metal riffs and history, for such a young band. The arrangements are interesting but not overly complex. The guitarists trade solos quite comfortably and the rhythm section drive the songs along at a fast and furious pace without losing descending into chaos or losing the drive. Reference points might be a band like Laaz Rockit or older Vicious Rumors although Striker can hold their own without comparisons.
Great band, great debut and I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more from this young act that keeps the metal flame burning. For an old-dog like me, that is very welcome indeed.