S.C.R.A.M. (Safety Control Rod Axe Man) is the solo project of Pranjal Tiwari who is probably best known for his work with the long-running cult doom metal band Cardinal Wyrm, Finnish-language hardcore band Ransu’s Revenge, and more. Over the last few years he has released two other albums as S.C.R.A.M., an EP and a split with Gridfailure, and he is now back with his latest release which has been influenced by the films ‘Blade Runner’ and ‘Tron’ in particular. He has also invited some guests to add their touches to certain songs, including Dave Brenner (Gridfailure), Grammy award winning trumpeter Mac Gollehon as well as Leila Abdul-Rauf (Vastum, Cardinal Wyrm, Ionophore) and Nathan Bishop-Bolin (Cardinal Wyrm). However, while these artists have all made valuable contributions, what they are doing is adding to a world created by Pranjal.

Described as dark ambient/synthwave, this is certainly also incredibly cinematic, and mixes electronic with progressive to create something which is enthralling and fascinating. It is an album designed to be played on headphones when the listener has the opportunity to do just that and not allow it to fall into the background. There are times when some of the keyboards have a more dominant presence and this is probably when it works least well, as it is when the layers are being built in a dramatic fashion that this comes across as a science fiction feeling of the future. I can see why he works with Dave Brenner, as in some ways they have similar outlooks, but Gridfailure is far more dystopian and bleaker, with the menace from S.C.R.A.M. being far more ephemeral. This is definitely something which works as a soundtrack to science fiction, and if I did decide to play this when doing something else, I can certainly imagine it working well while reading Asimov.

Rating: 7/10