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Screamer - Highway Of Heroes Award winner

Screamer
Highway Of Heroes
by Joseth Radiant at 05 October 2019, 10:15 PM

When it comes to the New Wave Of Traditional Heavy Metal, there have been a fair amount of bands that have struck true and got it right as well as having a fair amount of bands that have lost the forest for the trees. SCREAMER Is a band that fits into the former category. This Swedish quintet is poised to release their new album and for many Traditional Metal fans, it is likely to be a contender for Album of the Year. “Highway Of Heroes” showcases a band in a great spot. First, the lineup has been solidified with individuals that are completely Invested in what the band is aiming to do, and it translates into stellar performances from start to finish.

Secondly, for the first time in the band’s history, they had a proper producer at the helm (BULLET’S Gustav Hjortsjö) to refine their songs and make them as keen as a surgical scalpel. Having toured with BULLET twice, it is plain to see that everyone went into the studio as kindred spirits with the sole intention of creating a great record. I can truthfully say that they have thoroughly succeeded. Prior to this coming across my desk, I had been listening to a lot of THE SCORPIONS’ breakout album “Love At First Sting” as well as watching the music videos that went along with it. I enjoyed reviewing all of the Black Metal albums that I listened to recently, but I’m Dad-Rawk 80’s kid to the core. In my mind, SCREAMER would have been a great opening act for THE SCORPIONS on that world tour. Not only because they play similar music, but because both bands are like-minded in making music that’s the perfect soundtrack for a Friday night full of great tunes, fast cars, and exquisite feminine scenery.

In regards to the songs, it’s hard to pick out a song that stands out from the rest. Typically when a band says they are “all killer and no filler“, it’s almost guaranteed that they are overcompensating for a lack of quality material. Truthfully, this is not the case here. Whether it be the guaranteed show-opener of the “Intro” setting up “Ride On” to the epic title track of “Highway Of Heroes” or even the JUDAS PRIEST-inspired harmonizing dual guitar assault of “Rider Of Death”, there are so many great tunes on this record that you just can’t listen to it once. The replay value of this album is incredibly high and I have found myself listening to it multiple times without it coming off as boring or redundant.

The production skills of Gustav Hjortsjö Really do a great job of capturing this band firing on all cylinders. In my mind, the trademark of a good mix is that if you want to focus your listening in either on the vocals or any particular instrument, but it is very easy to do so without straining your ears. It’s a lot of fun to hear Anton and Dejan Trading guitar riffs and solos, and to me, the entire band is more and more becoming the heirs apparent to JUDAS PRIEST. I am well aware of how bold of a statement that is, and part of the reason why I make that claim is due to the fact that SCREAMER does what JP does in writing heavy metal music that has elements of fantasy and a little bit of horror without completely coming off as ridiculous.

Overall, I will be honest with you and say that this album is going to get a lot of listens out of me because it’s that great. Within the first few minutes of pressing play, I seriously reacted like the Vince McMahon meme that has gained popularity over the past few years. My expressions went from “Hmm. Impressive!” to “Yeah! Sounds great!” to “OMG THIS IS AWESOME!!” SCREAMER has earned themselves a new fan, and it is well merited. I was somewhat indifferent to the NWOTHM before, but now I get why it appeals to so many people. It’s less of a yearning for nostalgia and more of a yearning for great music, and I will definitely be keeping my eyes on them as the years unfold.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Ride On
3. Shadow Hunter
4. Rider Of Death
5. Sacrifice
6. Halo
7. Highway Of Heroes
8. Out Of The Dark
9. Towers Of Babylon
10. Caught In Lies
Lineup:
Andreas Wikström - Vocals
Anton Fingal - Guitar
Dejan Rosić - Guitar
Fredrik Svensson Carlström - Bass
Henrik Petersson - Drums
Record Label: The Sign Records
     


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