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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Strike (Finland) - 2013 We're Back
Strike (Finland) - 2013 We're Back

ARTIST: Strike (Finland)
ALBUM: We're Back
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Pasi Rantanen - lead vocals, guitar * Mika Brushane - drums, backing vocal * Kalle Annala - keyboards, backing vocals * Petri Rantanen - bass * Tommi Lindfors - guitar, backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Joanna * 02 Only Heaven Knows * 03 Day Of Reckoning * 04 Hear Me Out * 05 Strike * 06 We're Back * 07 Angel * 08 Runaway * 09 Nobody Lives Forever



And just as we're about ready to wind up 2013, Finland delivers another trump card just before Santa heads off on his delivery round. This Finnish outfit is Strike. And no, they're not newbies on the block. The band go right back to 1985, formed by Pasi and drummer Mika Brushane, but they only lasted until 1991 before they broke up. The band did record some material but nothing official. Twenty years later, the band reforms, with all hands on deck. Of interest to one and all, the lead singer Pasi Rantanen is better known as the voice behind Finnish power-metallers Thunderstone, and is one of the better metal singers from Finland. Rantanen joins the ranks of other power and prog metal vocalists who have found a second home in the melodic rock/AOR genre. Blokes such as Oliver Hartmann, Michael Eriksen and Pekka Ansio Heino are some recent examples of crossover genres. And what do Strike bring to the table exactly? Nine tracks of hard-hitting melodic rock with doses of AOR keyboards on a couple of tracks. If the songtitles are anything to go by, this really is melodic rock songwriting 101.

The Songs
It's as glossy a start as I've ever heard with majestic keys and strident guitars being the cattle call for 'Joanna'. I could throw a bundle of names at this, but I'll let you the listener work it out for yourself. It's one of two tracks recorded from 1989. It gets big and boisterous for the rather rousing 'Only Heaven Knows', a Scandi classic in the making I would suggest. 'Day Of Reckoning' veers more toward metal, with its slow chugging guitarwork and sparse backdrop, reminding me of Blue Murder without the Sykes OTT factor! 'Hear Me Out' didn't do a lot for me, but one of their earlier tracks 'Strike' is bonafide AOR! Check out those stamping ivories, straight out of the 80's. 'We're Back' is the first ballad, and undulates as a ballad should, soaring orchestral arrangement and all. 'Angel (Of My Heart)' was the other track previously recorded back in 1989, and it seems those few songs which were recorded back then are standouts on this album. How many AOR albums includes a song called 'Runaway'? Well, add Strike to the list. And it's a goodie too. 'Nobody Lives Forever' is a bit of a hamfisted closer. It sort of chugs along at a slower tempo, like a Dio track from back in the day, and like 'Hear Me Out', didn't really get my catherine wheels turning.

In Summary
Rantanen has done well to restore Strike to its former glory. I really liked most of this album, barring two songs. Strike should be getting a few reviews happening, seeing as the album was only released last week. Pasi is returning to Thunderstone, so they should have some new material in 2014, but Strike will still be a going concern. Head over to Strike's website to grab a copy of their CD.

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#1 | englandashes on March 16 2014 17:01:25
Nearly missed the boat on this one, excellent example of scandi rock, with slashes of AOR, with the odd 80's AOR retro keyboards, jumping on the tails of The Poodles and maybe early House Of Lords, with Day of Reckoning, crossing over with a touch of Jorn. Hear Me Out, possible being a Joshua influence? Seriously being self released it probably be hard to come by in a couple of years, one of the best ebay sellers currently selling last copies for under a tenner, well worth it.
#2 | swazi on March 18 2014 22:38:17
Yeah, just got this one myself from MusicBuyMail. Just in time, I guess! Smile
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