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STRIKER Ultrapower

By Alex Yarborough, Orlando Contributor
Sunday, January 28, 2024 @ 11:38 AM


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STRIKER
Ultrapower

2024 Record Breaking Records
https://www.striker-metal.com/




Edmonton, Alberta's STRIKER have returned after a lengthy absence from the scene with their forthcoming album, Ultrapower. We last heard from the band on their 2018 platter Play To Win.

Is there a place for a sense of humor in power metal? Is there a place for a saxophone in power metal? If you ask STRIKER, the answer to both questions is yes. And there's a wink and a nod on this album that is evident from the first note, and from your first view of the album artwork, (which the band says represents how they feel right now: "an engine that is fired up and ready to roll"). Regarding the music, the band describes it as "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". So perhaps the STEELY DAN influence made STRIKER break out the saxophone? It could be. Personally, I am OK with that, because I'm a fan of the DAN myself. Actually, I'm a fan of a lot of what STRIKER is doing on this album. It's not your usual power metal album.

Ultrapower opens with an evil laugh, and a strong track, as STRIKER is known for having on every album. "Circle of Evil" is a song about secret societies and is a real punch in the face, I totally love it. Lead vocalist Dan Cleary has not lost any power, he sounds fantastic, and the backing vocals are massive. If you haven't already seen the video for "Best of The Best", do yourself a favor and check it out on KNAC.COM HERE. This song is an over-the-top storm of '80s heavy metal full of "hockey arena vocals". Guitarists Tim Brown and John Simon Fallon, and bassist Pete Klassen truly bring the riffs, on this song and throughout the whole album. Next is the song featuring a saxophone, "Give It All". The video is pretty tongue-in-cheek, and can be viewed on KNAC.COM HERE. I think the last time STRIKER gave us the sax was on the Stand In The Fire album? I could be wrong. I mean, if you're going to include the sax, this ain't that bad! Hell, if DREAM THEATER and QUEENSRYCHE can do it, why not other power metal bands?

"Blood Magic" has a western-style opening and is about as heavy as STRIKER gets. This guitar fest and orgy of solos really kicks some ass. "Sucks To Suck" features the trademark massive backing vocals and brilliant lead vocals again from Dan. It's of course about people who suck. "Ready For Anything" is the kind of adventurous anthem STRIKER are well known for, about "taking life by the horns and kicking its ass". It also includes the album title in the lyrics. "City Calling" is "an ode to 1987" and hook-filled power pop anthems from the '80s. "Turn The Lights Out" increases the tempo and is about making it through another day. "Thunderdome" is inspired by the Mad Max movies and is yet another upbeat rocker with amazing vocals from Dan. "Live To Fight Another Day" is a slick commercial tune near the end of the album. The band describes it as "synthwave". The chorus is straight money! "Brawl At The Pub" closes the album out. This song sounds like it could be inspired by the movie Road House.

Ultrapower has 11 total songs, clocking in around 42 minutes, and there isn't a ballad anywhere on this album. STRIKER hired Josh Schroeder to produce, opting out of doing it themselves this time. Ultrapower definitely benefits from his expertise. I really like the diversity in this album. Ultrapower is available now from Striker-Metal.com, iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and CD Baby.

4.0 Out Of 5.0


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