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Eliminator: Ancient Light

The arrival of Ancient Light from the UK’s Eliminator couldn’t be better times for many, because much though it was one of 2021’s success stories and much though it is loved by many, Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu album left a lot of that band’s fans wondering just where the classic, 80s sound of Maiden had gone. Well, the simple answer would appear to be right into the Ancient Light album by this lot here. In fact, Eliminator are pretty unashamed in their adherence to twin guitar riffage and the gallop of the drums - and all while singer Danny Foster dusts down what can possibly be best described as something of an air-raid siren of a voice.

Yes, so we’ve heard most of this type of stuff before, but what does it matter when “Goddess Of Life” has you on your feet, machine gun air-bass guitar in hand and your foot up on the sofa-monitor? It’s classic NWOBHM from start to finish and in Matt Thomas and Jack MacMichael, Eliminator have the two-pronged guitar assault to carry the ever so Powerslave like “The Sculptor And The Stone Lady” to glory. In terms of the mix, each guitarist is also pretty much given their ‘own’ channel, with Matt emanating from one speaker and Jack the other, leading to a truly rounded, nuanced sound that continually catches the ear as it allows both to shine. And it’s little details like this that take “Arrival”, “Stone Silent” and “The Lord Of Sleep, Dreamaster” and raise them above so many of the bands that use this almost worn through blueprint. Clearly that does mean that originality is remarkably thin on the ground here, and yet from start to finish Ancient Light turns out to be a really captivating and invigorating experience. The rhythm section of bassist Jamie Brandon and drummer Dave Steen balancing power and precision with a real sense of panache, while, most importantly, the songwriting as you move from the more considered “The Library” and “Foreverless” to the hard-hitting “The Nightmare Of Aeon” remains of a really high standard.

So, if like me, you hanker for a classic Iron Maiden sound of old, let Bruce, Steve and the boys do their new thing, and instead look to Eliminator. These lads may not be quite up to those heady heights just yet, but seriously, they are not far away. Looks like I have some back catalogue hunting to do!

Track Listing
1. Arrival

2. Silent Stone

3. Ancient Light

4. Goddess of Life

5. The Sculptor And The Stone Lady

6. Lord of Sleep, Dreamaster

7. The Library

8. Mercy

9. Foreverless

10. The Nightmare Of Aeon

Added: January 28th 2022
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Eliminator @ Cherry Red
Hits: 385
Language: english

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