STRYKEN - FIRST STRIKE

RETROACTIVE RECORDS / GIRDER RECORDS

 

Metal To Infinity

Retroactive Records has been very busy the last few weeks. Next in row is Stryken, a Texas Metal band that released an album called “Blitzkrieg” in 1983. The band didn’t steal many souls in Europe back then, they were even infamous around here but I can easily believe they were hot in their own era. The reason is obvious; these guys deliver ‘easy on the ear’ music that plenty of Americans adored in those days. Nowadays Stryken sounds a bit dated and if you’re able to find this CD (it is available in local Metal shops) you should take a look to the band’s picture! Especially if you’re a child of the Eighties Metal scčne I’m quite sure a big smile will appear on your face… 

Looking at this particular picture the band reminds me a bit to the old Pantera. There has always been a discussion about the old Pantera; were they Glam Metal or not? Well, in my opinion they weren’t although some songs they wrote were pretty cheesy. It is a fact the Pantera guys dressed themselves pretty “Glam” in those days but musical wise too many songs on “I am the night” and “Power Metal” were far too heavy to deserve the status of a  Hair Metal band. Anyway; what I wanted to say is that the good old Pantera constantly crosses my mind while I listen to this record. 

Yes, musical wise I hear similarities with my old time heroes! On the other side I have to admit Stryken is mostly softer and much cheesier. It makes them sound actually as a Hair band and if you’re a fan of bands like Motley Crue, Ratt etc. you should try this one out! Stryken is probably a band that deserves a place in your collection. This is actually the ideal music for another “Grand Theft” game, that’s for sure. I adore these games, not only because of the game itself but also because of the fact the music makes the game breathe that exclusive Eighties atmosphere. Stryken fits perfect in this description and makes it cool to hear this re-release. 

This band is full of surprising and good songs, real heavy ones but also some sweet ballads, often reminding me to Alice Cooper. “Crush of the head of Satan”, “State Of Emergency”, “Rock on”,… are a few tracks I really enjoyed! Every track contains a different mood or in other words Stryken delivers a wide range of songs. Although Stryken seems to be a Christian Metal band you don’t have to fear the fact the band is constantly singing about God or Jesus. Not that I personally care but I know some 'diehard’ fans have difficulties with this kind of lyrics. The States is far different on this particular item than Europe but if you’re into some great Hard Rock / Melodic Metal you shouldn’t care at all! 

I’m quite sure that Stryken could have been a bigger band when they had some good support twenty five years ago. Be sure there was a public, in Europe, for their kind of Metal in that era. It didn’t work out this way but that doesn’t hold me enjoying this release with8(!) bonus tracks! Talking about these bonus tracks I need to say Stryken often sounds a bit too melodious to me. These songs are different, reminding me to the kind of music for one or another popular typical Hillary Duff movie. Glad fully  songs like “Circus man” and “Cross the line” changes a bit my thoughts about these extra tracks.  The digi-pack could have been from a better quality but after all the music counts. Very enjoyable release! 

My Points: 79 / 100 (Review by Officer Nice)  

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