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Screamer - 'Phoenix' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/7d/8f/12/Screamer-Phoenix-45-1372860547.jpg Hot

Added by James Gaden     July 03, 2013    
 
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This is what metal is all about.

'Phoenix' is the second album from Screamer, an unashamed quartet of Swedish heavy metallers who pitch their stall firmly in the early Eighties. Drawing their lifeblood from the early works of the likes of Judas Priest and Riot (although for those with elephantine memories, the German bands Railway and Bullet also provide a good point of reference), Screamer are all biker jackets, bullet belts and blazing riffs; and you know what? It sounds terrific!

The band started life around four years ago and released their debut album 'Adrenaline Distractions' in 2011. Since then one of the band's two original guitarists Martin Hallberg has quit the band and so 'Phoenix' sees newby plank-spanker Dejan Rosic joining bassist/vocalist Christoffer Svensson, guitarist Anton Fingal and drummer Henrik Petersson. The band's second album is a glorious collection of heads-down riffing, twin-guitar leads (check out that lovely run in 'No Sleep 'Til Hamilton'), ramrod rhythms and Accept-style shouted backing vocals: balls to the wall, indeed. The finger twisting lead-work of the rifftastic title track deserves a special mention – the sort of song that, many years ago, would have been played in HM discos up and down the country – as does 'Mr Noman', a workout that seemingly starts out as the traditional metal ballad before a high octane fuel injection takes it from 0-60 in a matter of seconds and turns it into the bastard son of 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'. And 'Lady Of The River', the seven-plus minute epic that plays things out, has all the power and passion of Queensrÿche's 'The Lady Wore Black' from all those years ago.

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For those of us of a certain age, it's bands like Screamer that allow us not only to revel in nostalgia but also to welcome new young bands who've taken the baton of traditional heavy metal and are proud to run with it; and for younger fans, well, this is what metal is all about. Trust me on this.

John Tucker

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