Friday, 5 June 2009
CD Review: This Age Of Silence, by Anterior (2007)
One of the most impressive metal CD debuts of all time, Anterior's This Age Of Silence ranks up there with Iron Maiden's self-titled debut and Kalmah's Swamplord as jaw-dropping examples of a band exploding onto the scene and just slaying their surroundings.
This Age Of Silence features a tight set of seven tracks (and two short instrumentals), characterized by a dynamic twin-guitar sound that defines the evolution (finally!) of what Maiden started. The guitar solo of Human Hive is the strapping young offspring of Maiden's sound.
That Anterior can bolt impressive twin-guitar driven melodies onto complex arrangements, tempo changes, and a death metal sound, is simply astounding for a debut effort. The band establish a perfect medium-fast tempo as their base-line, but they demonstrate remarkable courage and maturity by frequently dropping the tempo for key song sections. The tempo and melody transitions are perfect.
The Welsh band sounds confident, and the songwriting (by Leon Kemp) and delivery are what can be expected from a veteran act in their prime.
Standout tracks include The Silent Divide, Dead Divine, and Human Hive. But all the tracks feature terrific melodies and massive integrated solos. The epic Seraph, meanwhile, re-defines what modern heavy metal solos could sound like.
One mild criticism is the fading-out of some tracks rather than sharply ending them -- something to work on. The CD's production quality, while OK, is not great -- there is a lack of sharpness to the sound that does not seem to be intentional.
Anterior have set a high standard for themselves, and for that alone, they should be applauded.
Luke Davies - Vocals, Guitar
Leon Kemp - Lead Guitar
James Britton - Bass
Ross Andrews - Drums
Songlist (Ratings out of 10):
1. Ghosts of Dawn - n/a (short intro)
2. The Silent Divide - 10
3. Dead Divine - 9
4. Days of Deliverance - 7
5. Human Hive - 8
6. Stir of Echoes - n/a (short instrumental)
7. Scar City - 9
8. Seraph - 10 *See audio clip below*
9. This Age of Silence - 8
Produced and Mixed by Tim Hamill and Anterior.
Engineered by Tim Hamill. Mastered by Brad Vance.
All Ace Black Blog CD Reviews are here.