The amount of new bands who are channeling the Gods that bestowed heavy metal upon us don't seem to be stopping anytime soon, and I am absolutely fine with that. For every handful of newer acts that tread along the same mediocre path, there is another band taking the high road and releasing quality music. Bands like White Wizzard, Cauldron, In Solitude, Trial and Enforcer have all ushered in a new era of the '80s heavy metal sound with their brilliant releases, and now Striker is looking to join the upper ranks of today's scene after releasing their second full-length "Armed to the Teeth," ten songs full of soaring vocals, heavy riffs, stellar melodies and solos, and a large dose of fuck you, old-school rock n' roll attitude that has been missing from a lot of today's acts who focus on sounding occult or epic.
Much like most of today's newer traditional metal bands, the majority of riffs and other rhythm instruments just aren't too significant as far as the memorability of each track goes when standing on their own. Most of the riffs gravitate towards typical midpaced riffs and the occasional thrashy, speed metal type riff, but I don't recall many of the riffs themselves, but that's not really a problem given the rest of the band's efforts. Dan Cleary's vocals are one of the major highlights on this record, and a major reason why "Armed to the Teeth" possesses any sort of memorability. Not only are his vocals soothing and pleasant to listen to, but they mesh with the riffs and everything else effortlessly and they make the rest of the music better. Cleary's performance and delivery also allows for the music to resonate in the listener's skull, as he can wail away and hit high notes, sing beautifully with the melodies or put on a total rocker front which gives the music an awesome Scorpions or Judas Priest kind of feel, while Striker forges on with their own sound simultaneously.
Unlike a lot of the riffs, the melodies and solos found throughout this record are entirely amazing. "Fight For Your Life" and "Feed My Fire" both retain such a high amount of replay ability because the guitar duo's use of melodies serve as the ideal backdrop for Cleary's vocals to come in and ingrain the music in the listener's brain. "It Could Be Worse" is an infectious track that is sure to be a live favorite with its catchy rock n' roll influenced riffs and very air-guitar-worthy solos. After a few listens to "Armed to the Teeth" it's no surprise as to why Striker is gaining a lot of momentum in today's scene, as this album is exactly the kind of game-changer that can propel these Canadians to a higher level. If you're a fan of any of today's better newer traditional metal acts (Cauldron and White Wizzard in particular) then there should be zero hesitation in checking these guys out, and even if you don't, it still won't be enough to stop the rush...
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"It Could Be Worse"
"Fight For Your Life"
"Feed My Fire"
4.3/5 or 86%.