Review of ‘Death Based Illusions’ EP by Strike Master

Review by Ryan Murray | November 12, 2019

I had never heard of Strike Master before.  This EP is comprised of four, very in your face thrash metal songs.  From the heart pounding drums, grinding in your face guitars and pulse pounding bass lines, this quick EP has it all.  Vocally, this band honestly reminds me of Cradle of Filth.  Let’s dive into the tracks –

Cosmic Owl Ritual – The tide rolls in!  Buckle up, it’s gonna be a heck of a ride!  This track opens up with the sound of the tide rolling in with a deep bass line kicking in a few seconds after.  Then at about :20 seconds in, the guitars and drums smash right in your face with a hard but slow dirge.  Then comes the main riff at :40 seconds, which reminds me of something off of Metallica’s “Death Magnetic”.  If the main riff isn’t enough for you, wait for 3:10!  If the pit hasn’t started already, here it comes!  The drums kick it into high gear and the guitar is more in your face than earlier.  The track brings it back down to just bass right at the end.  If your face is on the floor, pick it up, and out it back on…you’ll need for round 2!

Knives – The main riff starts right off the bat after a quick drum fill, and there’s no questioning that this track is gonna take off right away!  Don’t get too comfy though!  At :38 seconds we get a nice time change into a 6/8 feel that gives a great break down right before we get back to straight time for the first verse.  This track is even more brutal than the first!  With time changes throughout, this track has a nice groove throughout the almost 5 minute track!

Strong As Hell – If you were hoping to slow it down by now, you’ve got the wrong EP!  This is yet another brutal, in your face track. For me, this song is about being strong and not letting anything pull you down.  We face many trials and “heavy fire” throughout our lives, but what defines us is how we come out of those trials.  

“I was born like a beast, there’s no desist, no turning back. Torn by circumstance of heavy fire and forged in the void.  When I thought that I had thrown myself into the abyss, the abyss had already thrown itself at me.”

For me, the writer is saying that he was born with the mentality of a beast.  No matter what he faces, no matter what ‘the abyss’ throws at him, he’s not going to back down and he’s not going to give in.

A Corpseless Soul – The final track, but it’s not over yet!  I think musically this is my favorite track on the EP!  Don’t let the first :27 seconds fool you.  What seems to be a tranquil intro gives way to a strong guitar and bass riff with driving drums.  At about :42 seconds, this track is right back in your face. This song, for me, is about wandering through life searching for meaning.

“The nameless, speechless, the feel that’s around to mourn.  The void that holds our deepest question of life.” Then later we hear “Death based illusions is what I am meant to be.  A corpseless soul.”  

All in all, I would give this album a 3.5.  I absolutely love the riffs, especially in the closing track.  While the vocals are strong, they aren’t my favorite type of vocals.

“Death Based Illusions” is available on all download and streaming platforms November 17th, 2019.  Be sure to give it a listen!

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