Friday, September 12, 2008

Screamer - Target: Earth (Full Length) (320)

Line Up :

Vocals : Bill Carter
Guitars : Michael Schantek
Guitars : Ronny Valeo
Bass : Paul Bigalke
Drums : Devin Litz

Review :

Target: Earth" is one of those albums that makes you glad you spent the time to search the underground for good quality metal. Screamer play a dark, melodic style of metal, not unlike bands such as Crimson Glory, early Queensryche, and early Fates Warning.

The vocalist has a great, soaring vocal style that seems to float above the rest of the music. He sings very well-crafted melodies, some of them I find to be downright beautiful in how expressive they are (particularly the chorus to the opening track, "Visionary"). His style could be most closely compared to John Arch, Geoff Tate, and perhaps Geddy Lee for a somewhat nasal/strained vocal quality that may turn off some listeners.

The rhythm guitars mainly play very melodic chord progressions and harmonies. Very nice dual guitar runs abound throughout the album. Pretty much all the riffing throughout the album is in the same style, that is to say, there aren't any ballads popping up or death metal riffs anywhere. The solos show quite a bit of flash and remind me a tad of the soloists for King Diamond. The drummer really blows me away on this album. He plays some really awesome patterns and great fills in a style somewhat like Scott Rockenfield (Queensryche) or Neil Peart. I think he may have some timing issues here and there but overall, I love what he is doing.

I subtracted a few points over a few minor issues. First of all, let me be clear that I don't believe any album is perfect. I believe there is always room for improvement for musicians to strive for. My rating reflects that belief. I think some sections in some of the songs could've been stronger/catchier. I also think the drums could've been performed a bit tighter and that the vocals could've been executed a bit cleaner a la Geoff Tate or Ray Alder for that super-clean power metal sound. Keep in mind though, that I consider these critcisms to be very minor considering the number of things "Target: Earth" has done well and I consider this album to be a gem of underground metal.

I have spun this album many, many times since I purchased it. I liked it when I first heard it, but after many listens I finally realized how good it was. I discovered great little nuances with each listen. It is now widely available on CD, having recently been reissued by New Renaissance Records, so fans of the aforementioned bands have no excuse not to pick it up.

3.Time Master06:55
4.Forgotten One04:29
6.Target: Earth04:00
7.Future World04:09
8.Heir To The Throne04:55
Total playing time38:57

Download Link

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