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Review: Striker - Play to Win
Play to Win

Label: Record Breaking Records
Year released: 2018
Duration: 41:07
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: November 2, 2018
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating
Play to Win

Rated 4.3/5 (86%) (10 Votes)

Play to Win is the sixth album from Canada's Striker and the fifth I've reviewed, having only missed out on the debut Eyes in the Night. So far, Armed to the Teeth has been the best but everything the band has put out has been quality and the trend continues with Play to Win. They've been honing their take on 80s pre-glam US metal and have come up with some great tracks this time around, but also a couple of clunkers. The first half of the album is uproariously fun with anthemic rockers like "Position of Power" and "Head First" rising to the top of the heap. Catchy choruses, well-crafted riffs and squealing solos are woven throughout. The second half is where some of the chinks in the armor can be found and MTV-inspired ballads show up. "Heavy is the Heart" is actually pretty good as ballads go, with a rocking chorus to offset the slower verses. "Standing Alone" and "Hands of Time" on the other hand, are syrupy, lighter-waving affairs and one is more than the album needed.

For the most part, Play to Win is another solid effort from Striker. I remember when American bands started out wearing denim and bullet belts and you got great albums like Dokken's Tooth and Nail and Skid Row's Slave to the Grind. Play to Win isn't on par with those classics but if you dig them, this is a no-brainer.

Other related information on the site
Review: Armed to the Teeth (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Armed to the Teeth (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: City of Gold (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Stand in the Fire (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: Striker (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with guitarist Tim Brown on November 21, 2018 (Interviewed by MetalMike)
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