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Review: Screamer - Kingmaker

Label: Steamhammer
Year released: 2023
Duration: 39:18
Tracks: 10
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 4, 2023
Reviewed by: MetalMike
Readers Rating

Rated 3.67/5 (73.33%) (6 Votes)

Kingmaker is the fifth album from Sweden's Screamer, a band that plays '80s-inspired heavy metal and one I've been following since their debut album. I thought the last one, Highway of Heroes, was their best to that point, full of catchy, heavy, and sharp US metal. Rather than repeat themselves, Screamer have gone in a different direction on Kingmaker, one that evokes bands like Coverdale-era Deep Purple and early Rainbow. Blackmore-esque melodies are supported by more noticeable keyboards and the kind of vocal lines Coverdale cornered the market on. Listen to the guitar work on "Rise Above" or "Hellfire" and you'll hear insidiously infectious melodies like Ritchie Blackmore created for songs like Deep Purple's "Burn," whereas on "The Traveler" you can hear Tony Carey's Rainbow-style keys, and "Chasing the Rainbow" features a solo Jon Lord would have approved of. Personally, I like that Screamer is not releasing the same album over and over and, because I love Deep Purple and Rainbow, Kingmaker sounds pretty damn good to me. If you were hoping for more of Highway of Heroes, you might not be as into Kingmaker. Regardless, Screamer is one of the better traditional metal bands out there today and Kingmaker is a solid addition to their catalog.

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