STRIFE – Back To Thunder +4 [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] (2021) *EXCLUSIVE*

STRIFE - Back To Thunder +4 [Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded] (2021) *EXCLUSIVE* full

One of the most influential – and unknown – acts for UK should be STRIFE, regarded as a seminal influence on IRON MAIDEN, PRAYING MANTIS and many others. Their second album “Back To Thunder” has just been Remastered & Reloaded and released by Rock Candy Records few weeks ago, including 4 rare bonus tracks and a pristine sound quality.
STRIFE developed a blend of progressive hard rock not heard at the time (end of the Seventies), with inventive chord progressions, clever arrangements, and smart melodies.

Much more commercial that their debut LP, by the time of this second effort ”Back To Thunder” STRIFE had shifted to Gull Records, which had released JUDAS PRIEST’s first two albums only a few years earlier.
This Liverpool based band emerged during the mid-seventies amassing a strong live following on the club circuit and releasing an impressive debut album titled ‘Rush’ on the Chrysalis label. It was a work of intriguing possibilities, embracing both progressive and harder rock.
Their songs were long and convoluted yet also signaled a penchant for melody and purpose that elevated them above the run of the mill units operating at the same time.

Sadly, their label failed to recognize the potential and allowed the band to slip between the cracks, and ultimately, due to a contractual production dispute, the band was left in limbo. Despite facing almost overwhelming odds, the band managed to eventually pick themselves up and negotiated a new record deal with the Gull label.
The resulting album was as impressive as their debut, but less flamboyant and more focused on song format.

Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that they were just ahead of the rejuvenated interest in British hard rock (which derived into the NWOBHM) they could well have been sitting comfortably as one of the key acts operating on the scene.
All solid, punchy hard rock tracks that saw the band embrace a new stylistic approach whilst keeping their progressive rock influences proudly on display. Housed in one of the era’s most attractive album sleeves, the record also boasts the contribution of keyboard wizard Don Airey.
Highly Recommended

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01 – Shockproof
02 – Let Me Down
03 – Feel So Good
04 – Sky
05 – You Are What You Are
06 – Red Sun
07 – Fool Injected Overlap
08 – Weary Traveller
09 – You Don’t Know [Outtake]
10 – School [School EP 1977]
11 – Go [School EP 1977]
12 – Unknown [Rehearsal 1977]

Guitar, Lead Vocals – John Reid
Bass, Gong, Backing Vocals – Gordon Rowley
Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals – David Williams
Keyboards – Don Airey


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