|Review: Strikelight - Strikelight|
Label: Eat Metal Records
Year released: 2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: February 16, 2005
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Looking for some no frills, straightforward heavy metal? This debut album by Strikelight might just be what you are looking for. The band's primary influence is obviously deeply rooted in late 70s NWOBHM, notably from bands such as Tokyo Blade and Iron Maiden - sometimes you almost feel like you're hearing passages from Maiden's early work. That being said, the band isn't a copycat. After all most NWOBHM bands had a little "sounds like this or that band" ring to them somewhere in their songs. Strikelight just happen to belong to this category, but a little over 20 years too late. :) Who cares, that sound still has its large share of fans, and those looking for something new in the genre will most likely find something to like here. The sound is overall quite close to "the good old days" albeit with a slightly clearer production.
The vocals need a bit of getting used to. The vocalist does a good job overall, but sometimes he tries to hit the high notes a bit beyond his capabilities and it makes my teeth cringe. Still, nothing bad enough as to go hit the Stop button. On the lower notes he sometimes sound a bit like Di'Anno, especially considering some vocal lines are strongly inspired by early Maiden. There's a ballad on the album, "Undying Love", which I think they should have left out. It's not a bad song per se, but it's a bit too cocky for its own good and doesn't fit very well with the rest of the album. Add to this some shaky vocal work on some passages. Oh well, maybe some chicks will dig it. :)
In 2005, this is not an earth-shattering album. But then again, there's no law that says it should be. Anyone into traditional metal should get a kick out of at least a few songs in here. If this had come out some 25 years ago, we'd probably still be hearing about it today. Not necessarily as a classic, but just as a damn good album in the genre. If you're looking for something new in the NWOBHM realm that sticks to a proven formula, is quite upbeat and well played, then definitely check this one out.
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