Screamin’ Demons – The New Era (Pure Steel Records)Monday, 15th May 2023
Although a new band in essence, Screamin’ Demons contains three-fifths of its members who have been a part of the iconic Italian metal act Death SS. Founded in 2021 by bassist Andy Barrington, the sound of this act has a balance between the past and present – choosing to be powerful in using modern tones/production aspects while maintaining the melodic vocal/musical qualities that keep things in the pure metal landscape. Tagging their sound as ‘supermetal’, these ten tracks on The New Era encompass influences across European/North American territories, developing a wide array of textures from dark/heavy to staccato/groove as the compositions contain plenty of circular hooks to headbang upon.
The main musical underpinning contains a downtuned, heavier nature throughout these tracks yet never wavers in creating magical, mystical riffs from the power/traditional realm. The bouncy runs allow for sick arpeggio lead breaks, where the rhythm section can also flex a bit of progressive angles – creating elements of Nevermore, Evergrey, and Arch Enemy in standout tracks like “Warrior” and “Green Fly”. Calmer, clean strains appear in small segments of “Declaration of Hate” before the thrash-oriented tempo takes command – Alessio Spini stellar in his measured verse approach as he rises up his multi-octave register deeper into the arrangement. Cultural guitar harmonies propel closer “Lies” – another shape shifting double kick-oriented effort that takes current Judas Priest into that 90’s Nevermore/Metallica territory, the axe play of Al Priest and Luca Ballabio integral to retain heightened anticipation from rhythms to memorable lead melodies/breaks in the elite metal guitar hero category. The lean quality to these songs also allows the listener to concentrate on all parts without feeling overwhelmed – every squeal, tom/kick roll, or vocal ascension makes sense.
It’s understandable why Screamin’ Demons is a separate entity from Death SS – The New Era contains all the elements that would appeal more to a younger generation who loves power metal or groove-laden thrash with that heavier, crunch or low-end thickness in the production realm. Quite an impressive debut record out of the gate, let’s hope that the band continues forward to establish a discography/career well worth the investment, as they have a killer sound plus talent in all the musical positions to go places.