ELIMINATOR - Ancient Light
May 1, 2022, 4 months ago
Despite the seemingly ZZ Top inspired moniker, the sophomore effort from this decade's long running British troupe is firmly entrenched in the ever burgeoning NWOTHM camp: high energy, with quality (slightly high pitched bent, mostly for emphasis: the overabundance on the titular number being a notable exception). Fairly successful at establishing their own identity, can't completely shake the homegrown influence of the UK's largest ‘80s metallic export, especially on "Silent Stone".
"Goddess Of Light" is a high quality construct, balancing the bold and brash. Like-minded "Foreverless" begins with a bit of extended, acoustic subtlety, but eventually makes a jump to their usual frenetic pace. Nice to see the guys trying something different! Elsewhere, the meat & potatoes, straight ahead metal of keenly entitled "The Sculptor And The Stone Lady" (still with an acoustic guitar break, midway through) and vocal scaling "Lord Of Sleep, Dreamaster" are headbanging (if not destined for in-concert chorus regurgitating) anthems. The latter starts as if a faux ballad, ultimately weaving a speedy, wild ride, while "Mercy" follow-up shows none of the titular quality.
Concluding "The Nightmare Of Aeon" might as well be a completely different band, opting for a more ethereal feel. Never quite able to completely divorce themselves from what has come before, in the final third, there's another shift in dynamic, galloping triumphantly into the sunset, on the soaring pipes of Danny Foster.