Underground Spotlight: Nightstryke
Written by Shannon Reardon and Brett Kihlmire
A blast from the past coming out of Finland is the old school heavy metal band, Nightstryke.
Nightstryke, who draw their inspiration from bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Diamond Head, formed in late 2015 by guitarist Rami Hermunen.
“After making the first songs for the band I just thought that Nightstryke sounded like a good name for a heavy metal band,” said Hermunen. “The letter ‘y’ serves as a tribute to the bands like Witchfynde and Tytan that also used a ‘y’ instead of an ‘i’.”
In 2016 the band released their demo, “The First Stryke,” and also added members, Jesse Sorsa on drums, Eric Taponen, who has since left the band, also on guitar, and Leevi Lehtinen on bass.
The demo features songs that draw inspiration from generic occult topics to samurai stories from 18 Century Japan, and many other topics in between.
“The first demo has been sold all over the world from Japan to Chile,” Hermunen said. “[This] is a big thing for us and something we didn’t expect at all.”
Though claimed as a demo, Nightstryke’s demo ‘First Stryke’ is a hard hitting and well-produced release. All four tracks sound great with a nice ‘80’s production value best described as a little distant and echoing but pleasing to the ear at the same time.
Thrash and NWBHM fans, especially those who dig old school Metallica and Megadeth as well as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, are going to love this demo. It’s got everything that makes a great ‘80’s style metal album like shreddy solos, prominent bass, high screams and clean lead vocals, and well-crafted lyrics and riffs.
Of the four songs it’s hard to choose the best, for each one stands on its own two feet and rocks my speakers. ‘The Story of the 47 Ronin’ takes the cake on storytelling, ‘Witches of the Night’ has the speed, ‘Take You Away’ has the hooks, and ‘Steel Thunder’ has everything but the storytelling. All together, this is a solid four track demo that was well worth my five dollars and this is just the beginning. Nightstryke plans on recording and releasing an EP in 2017!
As well as some new material, the band will be spending the year touring and playing smaller venues. With these performances, fans can expect the band to be riled with energy as they fill the powerful and fist-clenching heavy metal music.
If you dig thrash and new wave of British heavy metal style, then you absolutely have to check out Nightstryke’s debut demo HERE