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Striker: Ultrapower
Striker - Ultrapower Album Art

Striker: Ultrapower

Traditional Heavy Metal
5.0/5.0

We return to Canada to hear from Edmonton band Striker, now in their second decade of making heavy metal. Their last studio album was 2018's Play To Win which won a Juno award (Canada's equivalent of the Grammy). This was followed by the live album Alive In The Studio in 2020 during the COVID pandemic. Now the band returns with their seventh long-player, Ultrapower, which features some players: Pete Klassen on bass and Jonathan Webster on drums, both joining in 2019, and John Simon Fallon from The Order Of Chaos on guitar since 2022.

Striker - Click For Larger Image

Striker

Most fans recognize Striker as purveyors of traditional "true" metal. But in the past five years, when crafting this album, the band had been exploring a variety of genres: "Ultrapower is the amalgamation of five years of writing and exploring music. With influences from AOR to speed metal, hardcore to hair metal, Steely Dan to deathcore, you name it, it made its way into the album."


Hardcore? Steely Dan? Deathcore? It makes you wonder if Striker has abandoned their true metal roots. But no. Ultrapower is essentially a mixture of classic heavy, speed, and power metal, yet with some nuances. For example, both Blood Magic and Circle Of Evil have some symphonic metal touches. Give It All appears to have a saxophone, found after the midpoint.

Then songs like Sucks To Suck, Best Of The Best, or Brawl At The Pub return to heavy metal merged with classic Eighties hair metal, maybe even some punk nods. But, then again, Brawl At The Pub has pace of speed metal, as does Ready For Anything. Alternatively, you can hear the AOR vibe within Live To Fight Another Day with its prominent rock groove, song melody, vocal harmony, and catchy refrain.

All in all, Striker's Ultrapower may be their finest album to date. Their traditional, "keep it true," heavy metal has never been more fresh, creative, and versatile, and so also, breathing new life into this classic genre. Easily recommended.



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The Take Away

Striker's Ultrapower may be their finest album to date. Their traditional, "keep it true," heavy metal has never been more fresh, creative, and versatile, and so also, breathing new life into this classic genre. Quite recommended.

Support the band, visit their site to purchase the album.

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