Album review: SCREAMACHINE – Screamachine

Frontiers [Release date 09.03.21]

Screamachine comprises five experienced metallers, all of whom deserve a mention, but most notably, vocalist Valerio Caricchio and guitarists, Alex Mele and Paulo Campitelli, all of whom are veterans of the Italian/European Heavy Metal scene.

The label makes a big (marketing) play of the guests on the album, and yes, there are some outstanding musicians contributing their skills, like guitarists, Simone (DGM) Mularoni and Andrea (Stormlord) Angelini. But the incumbents do a pretty impressive job on their own.

It’s hard to cook up something original and sustaining within the narrow parameters of traditional metal. So Scream Machine do what others have done successfully before them. They drill down into the DNA of the genre, emerging with their own powerful variants, cut with the occasional fresh perspective.

That said, ‘Metal Monster’ and ‘Silver Fever’ have no need of contemporary chemistry. The band are happy to weaponise the spring loaded, twin guitar assault of influential metal bands like Accept and Iron Maiden here. Both are delivered with macho, foot-on-the-monitor vocals and spiralling axe solos. A couple of decent tunes in there too.

Elsewhere, in places, the music has definite Teutonic Metal undertones. ‘Human God’ and ‘Dark Steel’ are stomping, stadium filling, headbanging anthems, both very precise, conforming to international expectations of ever faster, tighter and heavier metal music.

First of the two album standouts is ‘Wisdom Of The Ages’. Guest musician, Herbie (Firewind) Langhans delivers his vocals in a familiar, emotionally overwrought style. And yet you can’t help but lay down the red carpet as it creeps into your head.

The other is the aggressively melodic and aggressively infectious title track ‘Screamachine’. By absorbing the sound of classical composer (and fellow Italian), Gioachinno Rossini’s galloping overtures, they’ve made a welcome step over the line into classically inclined metal. Maybe this one signposts the way ahead for Scream Machine. ***

review by Brian McGowan


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