When I got the first Youtube link to hear Canadian band STRIKER (not to be confused with the formed AOR Swedes by the same name) they were presented as shredders. But the song I heard, “On the run”, is almost free from shredding. However, when listening to the full album it proves that “On the run” was one of the “softer” tunes.
And no matter the style here – this is so professionally handcrafted! I am almost blown away by the sheer quality of this album. So I need to write about it even though it was released in late 2018.
The guys are DAN CLEARY (vocals), TIM BROWN (guitar), CHRIS SEGGER (guitar), WILLIAM WALLACE (bass) and RANDY BLACK (drums). On stage the drums are handled by Adam Brown, though.
Stylewise we’re in for melodic hard rock and melodic metal in a lovely mix. This is their 6th album and it starts with “Heart of lies” with pumping guitars and drums. This one absolutely makes them qualify as shredders, but at the same time it is truly melodic. A personal favourite is the third song “Head first” has got a super cool arrangement in the verse with a soulful and slightly funky twist – then turns heavy in the chorus.
If you like early STEELHEART you will totally dig this album, and I think this is even better. Vocalist Cleary is simply brilliant! A clear voice with a big range, at times quite similar to the one of Matijevic in Steelheart.
Among the softer songs we find the semi-ballad “Standing alone” and the aforementioned “On the run” which is melodic hard rock with edge, but also an almost AOR:ish vibe at times. Fine harmony vocals too! The final tune “Hands of time“ is another one on the soft side. The front” is also more hard rock than metal, but these guys master both styles. If I’d known about this album in September 2018 it would have qualified for my Top 10 List of 2018.