Squadron: Fatal strike

Musical styleUS Metal
Additional info-
Rarity grading
4 out of 6 - Incredibly rare!


According to the insert, this CD contains tracks from two band eras: those three songs from 1985 show SQUADRON a bit uninspired, searching for their style. Only "Fatal strike" can convince with it's well-structured composition and catchy riffing, while "Jam on air" and "Different ways" are substandard, early US Metal songs. Those other songs, dated 1988, are more powerful and really better. All three songs are great in their way. "Wings of dreams" is a classic, brilliant US Metal killer while the gallopping "Phallic marauder" is an instrumental that maybe could have done better with vocals. "Future illusion" is a quite doomy song with drawling vocals. Totally different from the rest, but also very fine indeed. Unfortunately, the vocalist is not really impressive and the production is quite weak.
All in all, "Fatal Strike" can not be seen as a classic, but is worth tracking down for all you die-hard (CD-) collectors out there.

SQUADRON plays very fine US power metal but it didn't get wider audience because of two reasons. First, production. It is clean but it doesn't have so much power so the sound is somehow "soft" (which is great for me) but I know some people like "heavier" sound but they won't find it here. And the second reason is that this CD is pressed in 100 copies only without any promotion! No comment. After first spin you will hardly remember any riff or melody but if you are experienced metalhead with "trained ear" you will KNOW that you should listen to this album few more times before you realise that this album is full of great riffs, solos and melodies but you didn't hear it in a first place because of "weak" production ("weak" only comparing to some modern albums with high budget production). Vocalist (Steve Crandall) is unique! He sings regular middle-range and high-pitched type of vocals but there is SOMETHING in his voice that makes me want to hear it over and over again. Very cool! Guitarist (Brian Cassidy) really has sense for melodies, solos and riffs which sometimes sounds like progressive metal (the begining of "Jam on air"). Guitar solos are perfect! Very catchy and fast! And all riffs are fantastic! Rhythm section is also great (just listen to "Future illusion"). Great bass line! This album has some "charm" that unfortunately only few can hear (but after few listenings) and is not for everyone but for those who appreciate music rather than stupid production and believe me, when you really get into it you just can't stop listening to it and headbanging and you will laugh at those who never discover this long lost treasure called "Fatal Strike".

It would be stupid to say "go now and listen to this album" simply because this album is impossible to find (even on mp3). Yap, this CD is extremely rare (sold on eBay last year for $310!) so don't think you'll soon add this gem to your collection. If you're US metal fan you'll love this album after 3-4 spins and if you're not you will probably never love this album. PLAY IT LOUD!!! (Vladimir)

1. Jam on air
2. Different ways
3. Wings of dreams
4. Phallic marauder
5. Future illusion
6. Fatal strike

Created / updated: 2011-01-17
Stefan Wille