Skreamer Live at The Underworld, London 9/4/16

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Skreamer returned to their native London last weekend. Their reputation hasn’t wavered in their absence. Quite the contrary. Expectations are high for the band recently hailed by Metal Hammer as possibly ‘the new voice for the voiceless’ after premiering their title track for the forthcoming album ‘King Of Crows’ late last year

People are often quick to want to categorize bands in to genres and it is often deemed cliché (or as it turns out just plain false) when a band says something like ‘we don’t really have one’, but the fact is they really don’t. The reason is because they present their music in the way they decide fits their message best. Sometimes that means thrash, core or even hip hop on one occasion as demonstrated this evening.

Most of the set showcases the new material and the raw, heavy aggression and power of the music is very closely matched by how they invoke the feelings most people associate with what the songs are about. For example lack of equality. I listen to ‘Welcome To Paradise’ in full recognition of their message, which is that it is still often the case that our ethnic background can play an unnecessary and so often monumentally unfair role in the opportunities we have compared to others of a different background. Pisses me off, and the band are looking passionately pissed off in the delivery of that message. A message which at the end of each verse is met by cheers and applause because the crowd appreciate people calling bullshit for what it is.

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They’ve concentrated on their sound to deliver the heaviest performance of theirs I have seen. Frontman Samuel Morter explains “We’ve been putting a lot of thought in to how to deliver a much heavier live experience than previously”. This was perhaps best evidenced in their performance of ‘Flesh and Blood’ from their self-released debut album ‘Blackened Earth’. Sure, some of it’s down to the gear but it’d be unfair to give an effects rack credit. They’ve matured well to know how to go for maximum effect in what they want to do, and it’s starting to bring bigger numbers and a lot of new fans. “It’s great to come back and see familiar faces but I’ve seen so many new ones” says bassist Serg Ronchetti. Two of these new fans were actually invited backstage after the band were told it was their first metal gig. Sam casually jokes to two young lads “You guys are gonna go to a proper metal gig now and say ‘why the hell did we see Skreamer first?’”.

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Indeed, their fan base has grown so much recently that they’ve even been accused of paying for facebook likes. Sam acknowledges the need for determination in regard to wanting to get things to the next level when I asked about future touring and festival opportunities. Of the Bloodstock festival he simply says “We apply but are unable to get in”. Though they look forward to playing venues around Europe and the rest of the UK in the next month, they are clearly hungry for more.

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Hungry is good if the reaction is not to let the thought become frustration, or even bitterness. Many a promising band then stops, unfortunately not before having allowed it to effect performance. Well, you don’t move your entire band from London to North Wales if you’re just going to wait and wonder. They have far too much respect for what they are doing and for the fans they are continuing to gain. An insatiable appetite is no problem when there’s no chance of running out of food. They’re nowhere close to risking that. They just need a little help getting a larger plate.

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Skreamer: L-R Steve Walker, Adam Kniveton, Serg Ronchetti, Samuel Morter (right) with young fans Danny and Mikey backstage after enjoying their introduction to live metal.

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