Underneath a small bar in a shady part of Toronto, a crowd of a dozen or so people gathered to see Montreal thrashers, Alcoholator. The opener, coming all the way from Sweden, was the heavy metal band Screamer! Despite the limited turnout, these guys rocked like they were playing a huge festival. Their set was filled with plenty of headbanging, guitar solos, and screaming metal vocals. I picked up their debut, and it turned out to be a great choice.
Out of all of the more recent traditional heavy metal bands, Screamer definitely has the most rock and roll influence. Their songs take a lot of influence from Motorhead, but are definitely less punk-influenced. Early Riot (Fire Down Under) would be another similar comparison. On the one hand, there are definitely moments that aren’t very polished: the vocals miss a note here or there, but it’s that genuine approach that makes their songs so enjoyable. In fact, the vocals might be the highlight of the whole album. Bassist and singer Christoffer Svensson puts forth a fantastic effort as he goes on about all of the classic heavy metal topics; namely, rocking as hard as possible. If he doesn’t have you screaming out “sometimes life is just pure rock’n’roll”, nobody will. Those lyrics are pulled from the strongest track, “Can You Hear Me”, but might as well have been from any of them. Every single song has a couple of catchy moments, especially in the choruses. The other major highlight of this record is the sheer number of guitar solos. Tracks like “Screamer”, which is a total speed metal affair, seem like they were made for shredding, and both guitarists are more than capable. While they aren’t playing any Malmsteen-esque licks, there is plenty of tapping and fast scalar runs. The drumming is competent; I’m sure Henrik Petersson is a great drummer, but he doesn’t standout here, and that doesn’t hurt the album at all.
Screamer may only be at the beginning of their career, but their enthusiasm for hard rock and metal shines through on “Adrenaline Distractions”. In the same way that sloppy blackened thrash is appealing because of its reliance on energetic riffs, this album is focused on creating metal for the love of it. Having just been added to a tour with fellow Swedish band Bullet, it seems that Screamer is on the path to success, and hopefully they can crank out another album soon!
Be sure to check out and like Screamer on Facebook!
"Can You Hear Me"
"Keep On Walking"
4.4/5 or 88%.
Written by Scott