ELIMINATOR - “Ancient Light”

By Dark Starr

I have not heard this British metal band before. Based on the strength of this album, I'm going to keep my eyes open for more of their music. This is a killer disc that has a decent range while staying firmly in the fierce zone. While not every song is as strong as some of the others, it's all quite good. That is really evidence of how good this music is, even the more run-of-the-mill stuff is exceptional.

The opening "Arrival" drives in with some screaming hot, nearly technical, metal jamming. The vocals are of the power metal type. It is driving, true steel that really rocks. Fiery and fierce, I'm reminded of IRON MAIDEN to some degree on "Silent Stone." The power metal choruses are great. The bass work on it is strong, too.

The title track pounds in fierce. It drops back to mellower stuff for the entrance of the vocals. It screams back out from there as it continues. It is another driving metal tune, but the mellower dropped back sections bring more dynamic range to it. There is an epic quality to the number. Incredibly fierce, I'm reminded of MANOWAR on "Goddess of Life," minus some of the sillier aspects of that band. I really like this song. it's a stomper and yet has some melodic musical passages, too.

There is a technical metal edge to "The Sculptor and the Stone Lady." It's a fierce screamer. I'm reminded to some degree of KING DIAMOND on the song, but with different vocals. It's another powerhouse metal number. There are a couple places on the track where the guitar sound makes me think of Uli Jon Roth just a little. There is an excursion into a less metal, Latin inspired jam at one point, too.

Next comes "Lord of Sleep, Dreammaster" and a melodic metal introduction gives way to a furious technical metal jam. It is another that has a real epic quality. It's intense and packed full of shifts and changes. While not a big change, "The Library" is another fierce and powerful metal stomper. It's a real screamer that works quite well. I dig the energy and fire of "Mercy." It's another smoking hot metal stomper.

Another with a wider dynamic range and a more epic vibe, "Foreverless" starts with mellower, more melodic stuff. In fact, the opening qualifies as balladic. It grows out into fierce metal with a lot of melody and power built into it. They saved the best for last. The closing "The Nightmare of Aeon" is epic in so many ways. It's also screaming hot with killer metal at its core. There are some literally screaming moments. Yet it has plenty of twists and turns.