Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Anterior - This Age of Silence

Here we go guys with my first album review on here, reviewed on the plane on my way to Rhodes, the time flew by!
The Welsh 5 piece’s debut offering brings only 9 tracks to the table, 2 of which are interludes. Following is a more precise track by track analysis and review, scroll down to the red writing for a short conclusion.

Intro track Ghosts of Dawn builds slowly with harmonising guitars and pounding drums, leading straight into The Silent Divide. The double pedal, riffing and scream are a little reminiscent of Ascendancy-era Trivium, or Poison-era BFMV. The lyrics never seem to be rushed, yet do not drone, a quality that is present throughout the whole album. The vocals are either spoken or screamed – yet the scream is easily decipherable, not unlike Anders Friden of In Flames-fame. The Silent Divide in particular has a haunting chorus, the likes of which rarely found without clean vocals.

Dead Divine gets off to a similar, yet different, start with the band’s Scandinavian influences showing through again with a very Arch Enemy sounding break in the song, using delayed guitar effects. This song also holds some brilliant solos.

Days of Deliverance is the shortest song so far (excluding the intro of course) clocking in at just over 4 minutes long. A simpler verse riff than the previous songs’ leads into a shorter chorus. Again this song has some good guitar work – particularly listen out for the sweeping solos.

Human Hive begins with the familiar ‘yaaargh’ scream and the use of natural harmonics introduces the song nicely. A slowed down section in this song lends itself more to some groove metal bands, and a gratuitously long instrumental break and solo lead back in for some final vocals.

The seamless transition into acoustic interlude Stir of Echoes shows an ambitious attempt. Strings and effective yet simple riffs make this a good break from the loudness, and a little fret-buzz picked up is the only indication of the band’s inexperience. The track shows real promise for a future full length instrumental one.

Scar City’s title may sound like a bad sci fi series but it’s actually another 6 minute tune from the most metal of boyos. A similar verse and chorus riff drive the song on, but for me it’s the drums building back in after a quieter break in the song that steal it here. I think the guy in seat 19E could tell I was trying hard not to nod my head along. However, with the similarity of verse and chorus riffs the song seems to stagnate a little and could possibly do with being shorter.

The darker sounding chords of Seraph begin another 6 ½ minute track with an accessible chorus with riffs neither being overly complex or too simple. Whispering vocals are present here, fading the song back from a break into the outro.

The title track, This Age of Silence, starts with some odd chords compared with the rest of the album and takes longer to find its feet as a song. A beatdown appears to be preferred to an epic solo in this song, yet the solo merely has to wait til a little later – being a little slower and understated compared to those that have come previously on the album.

Anterior seem to combine the sounds of Scandinavian metal with the accessibility of more commercial bands such as Trivium/BFMV. The album is produced well, and for a debut the content is a brilliant achievement. The band are brave not to succumb to putting in clean vocals for the sake of it, nor are there wall to wall beatdowns. Uncompromising and more traditional solos litter the album, but with the musicianship on display listening to them is a pleasure.

I’m not sure if I’m gonna give ratings for albums I review on here, but if I were to with this one, I’d say 8/10.

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