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'City Of Gold'
(Napalm Records)

Johnny Main

johnny main


Striker were formed in Edmonton Canada in 2007 and are bringing eighties Thrash Metal back to prominence with high profile tours alongside the likes of Raven and Sodom. 'City of Gold' is their third full length album, and it seems like the band have hit Gold with an album choc full of potential anthems.

'Underground' is a fast and furious track that's a great way to start the album. It's really fashioned in the 'old school' of Heavy Metal, with front man Dan Cleary flexing his vocal muscles as he powers through the lyrics, occasionally giving a Rob Halford-type scream showing just how good a performer he really is.

The guitar solo midway through is just great too very much in the style of Iron Maiden with it's twin guitar sound, but still with Striker's own unique stamp on it.

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Cleary really shows what an effective and powerful vocalist he is throughout the album, but it's not only on the faster songs where he excels. If you look at 'All I Want', for example, which is a much slower paced number, he again puts in a great performance. A slower paced number isn't necessarily a bad thing as far as Thrash bands are concerned, and this track gives Cleary a stage for his strong vocal style here.

Sounding not unlike Bruce Dickinson or Geoff Tate at, arguably, their best in the mid-eighties, Cleary has the chance here to really empasise the words instead of just singing them in a straight out fashion. Don't get me wrong, it may be a slower tempo compared to some of the others, but the song itself is no slouch. Drummer Adam Brown plays a slightly unusual beat but still manages to drive the song at a steady pace whilst something about the twin guitar punch out the main guitar riff.

'Start Again' also begins with a slower tempo, and the intro clearly demonstrates the musical ability of both guitarists, Chris Segger and Timothy Brown, as the twin guitar sound leads the track. The slow tempo doesn't last long, though, as the drums from Brown clatter in as the pace of the track ramps up, taking the song from a sedate number to full on thrasher in the blink of an eye. Brown really shows his power here as he holds down a solid drum beat that never seems to waiver despite the fast tempo.


Title track 'City Of Gold' has power chords galore during the intro before the song settles down to a more mid-paced number. The central guitar riff courtesy of Segger is a solid before Brown takes a trip round his drum kit showing his versatility as the track gets fully underway. Cleary does his best Dickinson impression here as his initial vocals ascend an octave or two, although it's pushed to the back of the mix in favour of bringing the guitar riff to the fore. The chorus is catchy, and I'm sure that it wouldn't take a live audience very long before they'd be singing the title refrain. From an early listen this track always stuck out as a favourtite of mine, and my opinion of it hasn't diminished over time.

'Rise Up' picks up the pace once more with a fast guitar break during the intro and the track really is one of the fastest tempo numbers included here. It's a good old fashioned Thrash number and the backing vocals during the chorus give it a bit of extra power before bass player William Wallace steps forward for a short bass break – something of a novelty in this day and age. The vocal passage "To live to die a free man" is just aching for some crowd involvement during a gig, and it's bound to be a surefire winner if or when played live.

All in all, though, it's a great album that shows Striker as one of the great Thrash bands of the future. This album is a huge step up for them after the success of their last album, 2012s 'Armed To The Teeth', and I look will be keeping a keen eye on the band's career in 2015 and beyond.

'City Of Gold' Track List:
City Of Gold
Start Again
Bad Decisions
All For One
Mind Control
Second Attack
All I Want
Rise Up
Taken By Time

Striker are:
Dan Cleary - Vocals
Chris Segger - Guitars
Timothy Brown - Guitars
William Wallace - Bass Guitar
Adam Brown - Drums

Striker Online:

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