By Jason Lefebvre
“We had some time off between tours and had some great opportunities come our way so we decided putting out a new album was our best option!”
Thus begins guitarist Tim Brown of Edmonton thrash metal institution Striker.
The band has released two albums in two years. They’ve done tours, music videos, won “Metal Artist of the Year” at the 2016 Western Canadian Music Awards, and performed on the 70,000 tons of Metal Cruise. The Striker machine has just kept barreling forward, record label or no.
“Well, since we’ve gone independent it’s a night and day difference, we’ve had so many amazing opportunities come our way since we made the switch. In the span just over the last year we’ve played more shows than we had done in the previous three years combined,” says Brown. Striker was previously signed to Napalm Records but since the contract ended, they’ve been busier than ever and just independently released their fifth full-length, the eponymously dubbed Striker.
The album demonstrates musically growth from their youthful, enthusiastic, pure speed metal approach to a much more refined modern metal sound. The band has grown to include vocal harmonies, progressive guitar shredding, and complex rhythms. The overall flow remains true to the ‘80s traditional heavy metal sound that the band has become known and loved for, but as time goes on with Striker, they’ve placed a stronger emphasis on more empowering lyrics and musical diversity. A strong example of what Striker has become stands with the song “Former Glory,” which kicks off the album. It’s loaded with dual guitar shredding and an anthemic chorus that encourages the listener to “do what it takes/ leave the past behind.”
“It’s just a good song all around and we made sure it was loaded with shred from front to back. The nice thing about being independent is that we can do whatever the hell we want,” says Brown.
“There’s no label to tell us they don’t like our direction or that they want different sounds. So in that sense it’s a very creative space to be in.”
It’s also a triumphant space to be in, made evident by the fact that the band is answering these questions while on a massive European tour with power metal act Sonata Arctica. They arrive home in mid April, and then play three CD release parties in their home province. It’s nice to know that nothing will hold them back.
“My amp exploded tonight so that’s about as close as we get,” counters Brown, laughing.
“We are all really excited to do what we do and nothing is going to hold us back.”
Striker will perform on April 13th at Dickens with Ravenous: Eternal Hunger and In/Vertigo. They also perform April 14th in Edmonton at the Starlite Room with the Tylor Dory Trio, and on April 15th in Red Deer with Wraith Risen and Bodies Burn Black.Bodies Burn Black, Dickens, Ravenous, Starlite Room, Tylor Dory Trio, Wraith Risen