Canada’s Striker are back again with their second album, and like their debut, this is quite a rocking affair. I’ve always liked bands that were unabashedly Heavy Fucking Metal. Striker is just that. They’re Heavy Fucking Metal and they’re proud of it. The fact that they have an undead dinosaur wielding two machine guns and a rocket launcher on their album cover just makes this cooler. Listening to Armed to the Teeth is like going back in time to the early-to-mid-’80s in terms of style. The music, as you can imagine, is straight-out melodic Heavy Metal that has some elements of Thrash and Speed Metal. While groups like Hammerfall or Primal Fear may go for a more Iron Maiden -influenced sound, Striker isn’t stylistically that different from bands like Queensryche, Grim Reaper or even W.A.S.P. for the most part. The Queensryche influence is especially apparent in the vocals, particularly on “All the Way.” Parts of that track seem like they were lifted right off of Empire, from some of the guitar parts to Dan Cleary’s banshee wailing vocals. This isn’t a bad thing. Queensryche was one of my favorite bands back in the ’80s, and anyone that can come close to Geoff Tate circa Operation: Mindcrime is a deadly vocalist in my book. Add to this some seriously hook-laden riffing and a bunch of blazing guitar solos, and you’ve got the makings of a kick-ass record. If you’re looking for a rocking good time, you’ll definitely get it from Armed to the Teeth.
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