"City of Gold"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I don't think there will be a better "traditional" metal album than "City of Gold" released this year. If you like the power and melody of the NWOBHM mixed with the energy of early thrash and speed metal, you can stop searching for a fix right now, you've hit the jackpot. This album is gold indeed.

With these classically inspired metal bands, it's useless to talk about innovation. It's much more important to talk about heart and spirit. This is a record that had me tingling when I was through listening to it, with names like Tygers of Pan Tang, Vicious Rumors and Enforcer floating in my brain. It is no easy thing to combine great melody with absolute power, but every one of these 11 songs does just that. "Underground" knocks you off your feet with a furious but tuneful metal killer. The following title track increases the twin guitar melodies and great clean vocals from Dan Cleary, who really cuts a swath with his work here.

The two names that Striker most remind me of are the great English metal band Tygers of Pan Tang and Vicious Rumors.. "Start Again" sounds like an out-take from the "Spellbound" album and given how much I worship that effort, that is high praise. These guys can hit the gas really hard, too....songs like "Crossroads" and "Second Attack" are what speed metal is all about. But the thoughtful "All I Want" shows they can get the job done with slower songs as well...this one reminds of "Mindcrime"-era Queensryche. "All For One" and "Mind Control" remind me more of Vicious Rumors, especially with Cleary's vocals.

Unlike many albums that start strong but fizzle out weakly, "City of Gold" ends on a tremendous high note with the high velocity rager "Rise Up" and "Taken By Time", which opens with magnificent power riffing.

This album will leave any lover of the elusive "true" metal dazed and limp. Seek, find and purchase!!!