This is a band and an album for lovers of classic heavy metal. SCREAMER are a Swedish group with traditional heavy metal sounds and values; they want to have a good time, party and make music. This is their fourth studio album since their 2017 release Hell Machine, and the first studio album on their new record label The Sign Records.
Highway of Heroes is a typical hard hitting record with clear influences and a classic sound throughout. If you like IRON MAIDEN, THIN LIZZY or even a bit of MOTLEY CRUE, you’ll get on with this album. It is said their song writing and attention to detail has been more focussed with this new release, so well worth a listen for old fans and new. When going back to their debut Adrenaline Distractions, I can hear the growth in their music writing ability. Although their debut was still great, it was a lot more simplified compared to their later work.
The album starts with a minute long intro track, which to me never adds much to a record, but it blends nicely into the first full track Ride On. This song straight away lets you know what these guys are about and what to expect from the album. It combines classic chords and riffs, lower clean vocals with higher Vince Neil-eque vocals and “up to no good, badass” style lyrics.
Ride On, the title track Highway of Heroes and Caught in Lies are the pre released tracks. Highway of Heroes is an epic track of guitar harmonies, vocal harmonies and badass misfits, ride or die, sing-a-long lyrics. It’s a proper crowd pleaser and I can imagine it will go down really well at concerts.
One of the tracks I really liked was Sacrifice, which is quite an understated song compared to many of the rest. Less varied vocals, a lower tone all round and I think one of the best written and structured songs. No simple chords followed by a twiddly bridge and a crazy solo, just a well-paced journey with a down played but well executed solo and a nice overall rhythm.
The genre itself is quite over saturated, and it’s easy to end up sounding like all the originals and influences. However I think SCREAMER have taken enough from various artists and added their own personal spin. It’s still the classic heavy metal sound with a clear nod to the likes of IRON MAIDEN, but it’s nice to see a group of guys who love their music, love their craft and just want to have a good time. There’s a lot of seriousness in the metal industry and it’s nice to break it up with some classic party guys.
Words: Amanda Nicholls
Highway Of Heroes is out now.