Company: Napalm Release: 2014 Genre: Traditional Reviewer: Greg Watson
Heavy metal wealth
Packing a distinctively old school punch, Canada's Striker delivers balls to the wall, ass kicking, no bones about it heavy metal. With a classic sound straight out of the mid to late 80's, the band delivers locomotive riffs with plenty of frenetic face-melting solos to make even the leanest metalhead bust out of their denim and leather. Take bands like Metal Church, mid to late 80's era Anthrax and Riot to name a few, throw in some modern sounds and you have a good idea of what to expect. Opener "Underground" is a pure shot of nostalgic adrenaline straight to your aortic tunnel. "City of Gold" is another bulldozer of a track with a Maiden feel to it and some very catchy fretwork. "Start Again" tricks you into thinking it's the band's ballad but the rug is pulled out in twenty seconds as the band launches into a great twin guitar attack (NWOBHM?) and keep their feet firmly mashed down on the accelerator. "Bad Decisions" slows things down a little with a more restrained track. "Crossroads", "All for One" and "Second Attack" all could easily have been hits for any of the aforementioned bands back in the 80s and are chock full of air guitar-worthy riffs and solos. "Mind Control" starts out with a great funky bass line and then comes in with a solid, hard driving riff. "All I Want" is the closest the band comes to a ballad without going into full slow motion. "Rise Up" and "Taken by Time" closes out the album in phenomenal fashion, offering the two heaviest tracks of the record, the latter being the perfect closer. Vocally their singer has a bit of a John Bush quality to his voice but hits highs like nobody's business. The vocals are really one of my favorite parts of the album. 'City of Gold' indeed is an appropriate title and the eleven nuggets offered provide enough heavy metal wealth for years to come.
About this Writer: Greg Watson // Greg Watson has been hooked on the loud and heavy sounds since the summer of 1994 when he first heard the opening notes of "Operation: Mindcrime" by Queensryche. Since then his tastes have expanded and grown like the ever evolving heavy metal tree of genres. He has been an active member of Maximum Metal off and on for 10 years. In his spare time, Greg enjoys deciding the fate of his loyal subjects in the realm of Skyrim and secretly playing air keyboard to "Separate Ways" by Journey when no one is watching. He currently resides in Roanoke, VA with his wife and his metal wannabe beagle.
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