SCREAM TAKER “Kill the Beautiful”

By Dr. Abner Mality

SCREAM TAKER is the latest project to feature the veteran drummer Vinnie Appice, who keeps himself pretty busy. This time, Vinnie’s hooked up with vocalist Jim Crean, who is something of a rock n roll legend in the Buffalo, NY area, and guitarist Stephen Honde, who has worked with Paul Di’Anno.

SCREAM TAKER is a band that makes no secret of living in the past, which for them are the late 70’s and early 80’s era of hard rock and melodic metal. The press compares the band mostly to DIO and for sure, you can hear that in the slightly doomy and heavy tones of the opening title track and the closer “Shine On”, which bookend the album nicely. But really, SCREAM TAKER is a bit more commercial, with a kind of AOR feel to Crean’s nasal and high pitched vocals. DOKKEN is a good comparison and you can hear a smorgasbord of melodic metal and hard rock influences here. The energetic “Frontline” reminds me a lot of 80’s KISS in the riffing and for certain, Honde was raised on these influences. On the bad end of the scale, we have the sappy ballad “Curse of the Werewolf”, which, despite the bloodthirsty implications of the title, is on the BON JOVI side of the equation. I didn’t like that dreck 30 years ago and I don’t like it any better now.

I’d say that’s the low point, though. Vinnie’s drumming is powerful as always and has a very organic sound throughout. SCREAM TAKER wear their hearts on their sleeve with no apologies on “Kill the Beautiful” and if a time capsule to the days when RATT and DOKKEN ruled the roost sounds good to you, then dig in…