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Review: Scream Serenity – 'Beyond This Land'

So who are Scream Serenity you ask? well let me help you out there. They are a four piece hailing from Lowestoft (maybe not the rock capitol of the world, but I had some good holidays there as a kid, if that helps any). They class themselves as Hard Rock (yip, hard rock, no genre, sub-genre, weird twig font for a logo…I like these guys before I even play the CD).

Scream Serenity name influences such as Alterbridge, Stone Sour, and Shinedown, and although you may hear some similarities, to my ears, they go back much further than that. The instant I put on the first track “Legacy”, the years were flying back like a movie flashback to a time when the UK ruled the rock world… NWOBHM. As obscure as it may seem, bands like Holocaust, Dark Star, and a pretty unknown Scottish band called Heavy Pettin come to mind.

I was in hog heaven as I lived and breathed these bands and the whole era. “Legacy” has a slow, almost Dio-esque opening, just a gently picked guitar and Jordan Fennell’s sombre vocals. The song lifts slowly as the guitars and drums start to soar and bang… hit me with a riff Iommi would be proud of, why don’t you. I also loved the subject matter of the lyrics, about thinking now what you leave behind in this world once you are gone.

Next up is “Twisted”, which kicks off with a far more updated rock style, but still keeps the old school vocals. This one does settle down into a serious Black Stone Cherry riff. Subject matter again is very pleasing, as I am all sure we know the type of twisted ladies they are talking about… and if it is a reflection of any I have known I would be swearing too, guys. Jokes aside, this is a real head banger of a track, with a neat breakdown in the middle, some excellent backbeats, and a brilliant solo. My pick of the EP right here, and I am sure it is a fan favourite live.

“End Of Us All” has me thinking ‘hey, this is all pretty negative lyrically so far’… not grungy ‘I am a millionaire, and I am unhappy’ negative, but there are no fluffy kittens here, people. The great thing is, you only notice because you are paying attention so closely to the songs (oh, and the fact you know what the hell he is singing). It is not that often these days songs can seem so accessible. I come from the days when you bought vinyl (well it was all we had), and you sat there and read the lyrics from the inner sleeve until you knew them off the top of your head. I mean, the closest you can come these days is a lyric video on YouTube, but no chance of getting a full album worth in there. Do you see what I mean about making me feel all old school?

The title track, and unfortunately last track, starts with that old vocals only kicker, before leading us to some dual vocal leads. This is definitely a straight talking, tied down, hard rock song. It is built from a multitude of different bands and the dual guitar work is also immense. Number two track for me.

A brilliant second EP, and hopefully paving the way for a full length album in the not too distant future. This is well worth a listen, so check out the  little teaser above, and then catch them on the Web.

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Review Ritchie Birnie

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