Welcome to the New Wave of Proficient Facelessness; A world where supremely competent musicians churn out music that is faultless in execution if slightly lacking in inspiration.
Actually, that’s not quite true. There’s plenty of inspiration here, most of it taken from Iron Maiden circa Seventh Son of A Seventh Son, but Eliminator‘s new album, Ancient Light, is signally light on excitement.
If that sounds cruel it’s not meant to – really it’s not – as, on a track-by-track basis there’s actually a fair bit to enjoy on the Lancastrian rockers’ second full length offering. But as a listener you might be sorely tested trying to digest the whole thing in one fifty-odd minute sitting as there just isn’t quite enough variation to keep the album moving along at the same pace as the listener’s attention span.
That said, I’m told the young people don’t really listen to albums properly these days, preferring to cherry pick favourite tracks from their streaming platforms of choice; and, that being the case, it’s easy to see classic metal like The Library or it’s more strident counterpart Mercy – which features some particularly fine vocal mayhem from Danny Foster – shooting to the top of headbanging playlists the world over. As well they should, because both are cracking tracks.
Goddess of Life and Lord Of Sleep, Dreamaster are also pretty exciting, if truth be told, and both feature the superb guitar partnership of Jack MacMichael and Matthew Thomas to good effect; but after that, things start to get a little familiar, with the album petering out slightly over the course of the final two tracks, Foreverless and The Nightmare of Aeon.
As the old nursery rhyme might have put it, when Ancient Light is good, it’s very, very good, and there is just enough here of the good stuff to suggest that something rather special might just be lurking up Eliminator’s collective sleeves in readiness for next time out. I look forward to hearing that record. British Trad metal is in rude health at the moment in the shape of names like Neuronspoiler, Amulet, Seven Sisters and Toledo Steel – and Eliminator have all the tools at their disposal to join that august band of brothers sooner rather than later.
Ancient Light is out now.