Screamer-Phoenix-1500For some reason this Swedish band’s debut album did not connect with me at the time of the review cycle, since its release I’ve learnt to live with it, but ‘Phoenix’, their second full length album is an absolute metal classic from start to finish. If you hanker for some Maiden recordings of old and recordings that have a bit of bite, then look no further than tracks like ‘Red Moon Rising’ and ‘Demon Rider’. Both of these tracks exhibit metal…and that is exquisite delivery of vocal melody and most importantly the manner of their riff collation is second to none. This whole package fuels more than a rising body temperature in the inclement months of the year, there is a light amongst the dark and in Screamer’s defence, they do not sound contrived. It sounds natural, they are not one of these new bands trying to sound “cool” and “old”, there is no soul in such efforts for me, passion is key, passion is Screamer’s second release.

Screamer declare their softer side with the beginning section of ‘Mr Noman’, I do like the build up because after a little while this goes into full metal mode. It actually has a few of the more melodic NWOBHM sounds to it, it is rather classy and not unlike some of recent Praying Mantis’ material or even taking a nod from an older native Swedish generation of musicians, but with a touch more bite. There are galloping guitar rhythm’s, screaming metal riffs with the odd solo here and there to tempt the tempted and true writing fashion, this is a genuine ‘Phoenix’ rising and the artwork colours are much more fitting to the music style this time.

Anyone who enjoys traditional and NWOBHM with those styles melody and driven nature should enjoy this record. It is not a retro release; it has its own passion and style. ‘Phoenix’ can comfortably break down walls with its talent on show, this is a most rewarding listening experience and as the band marches on with further improvement, I can only listen in awe at this cool slab of authentic metal.

(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)