Skreamer have been gearing up to the release of King Of Crows for a long time, harnessing the power of social networking to an extent most bands would balk at. Working hard, then working harder and single handedly spreading the Skreamer word far and wide….a voice for the voiceless in a time of social unrest and instability. Well, the hard work has undoubtedly paid off. Everyone from the humble webzine (ahem, that’ll be the likes of us) through to the might of Metal Hammer have pushed the band into the spotlight, elevating a band that have always come across us nothing but humble into the minds of the UK metal faithful and beyond.
And now the album is upon us, it’s time for the music to do the talking and Skreamer aren’t one’s to fuck around with idle chit chat. Unsurprisingly, this set of songs scream their rhetoric in your face with power and precision; merciless and on a single-minded mission to deliver a political statement backed by a nu-metal meets extreme metal blueprint. King Of Crows is pretty powerful stuff and completely authentic.
The overall mix of Slipknot-esque dynamics, funk infused mid-90’s rap metal, grunge introspection, classic soloing and an accessible yet sickeningly heavy sound result in a blitzkrieg of sub-genre’s that still maintain cohesion. Overall, this is impressive stuff, diverse and delicately balanced between all-out assault and solemn soul-searching, the juxtaposition of the furious “The Awakening” and the Staind-on-speed-like “Vacancy” providing ample proof of Skreamer’s range.
The familiarity of singles “Let ’em Burn“, “This Is War“, “The Awakening“, “King Of Crows” and “Pig Feed” (incidentally, the heaviest most caustic piece of metal filth to be found on King Of Crows), does little to dent this albums immediate impact. In fact, absorbing these tracks in one sitting – as they are undoubtedly meant to be heard – only adds layers and context, Skreamer’s voice of the voiceless moniker coming to the fore further more.
Politics and heavy metal have always been perfect bed fellows and this is a band to stand shoulder to shoulder with. Metal’s ‘community’ mentality coming together to form an army of like-minded people determined to change the future for the better….after all, “we are but pieces within the same game”. Of course, this is still a metal album at heart and those possibly raising their eyebrows at the ‘message’ being purveyed here (there’ll always be naysayers) need only listen to album highlight “This Is War” to get their metal fix; pure power set to groove metal mayhem and a hefty neck-ache in the morning is guaranteed!
A simple statement concludes this review….2016 is undoubtedly the year of the SKREAM! 9/10