From their early days UK death metalers Anterior grabbed attention and interest with their potential and tightly delivered creativity. Shows with the likes of 3 Inches Of Blood and Skindred, the release of their first official songs via their Myspace profile with brought a host of offers from labels, and the signing of a worldwide deal with Metal Blade Records in December 2006 all happened in a short amount of time. Debut album This Age Of Silence was released to a just mass of critical acclaim in 2007, its quality and the bands realised promise clear to see, now with their new album Echoes of the Fallen released again via Metal Blade Records September 13th the band has confirmed and taken their stock even higher.
Echoes of the Fallen has been a long thoughtful process with 2010 being taken off by the band to concentrate on the completion of the songwriting for the release and as the year came to an end the starting of its recording. The album is an impressive and powerful result for the measured effort in its creation, and being the first recording of the new line-up of Anterior the release also shows that as great as the previous album was there is a marked and strong natural unity between this crew that excels and adds more to Echoes of the Fallen.
The album hits the mark from the off with ‘To Live Not Remain’ leaving a trail of scorch marks in the ear as drummer James Cook and bassist James Britton thrust forth a forceful heavy rhythm attack that pounds the senses whilst the guitars of Leon Kemp and Steven Nixon weave and play around them with red hot riffs and sounds, their play with melodies and direct sounds resulting in incisive grooves that set an eager tone. A strong start to the album immediately raised by ‘Blood in the Throne Room’ where the guitars create an even greater tapestry of impressive interplay between power and melodies, the razor sharp solo a blissful addition. As on the opener and each track on the album vocalist Luke Davies is right on form, his delivery of growls and hoarse vocals a perfect fit to the harsh and smoother sonic sounds.
A feature of the band’s songs that is great is that there is no focal point in the tracks, in most tunes it seems like the vocalist or guitarist takes centre stage but with Anterior each song is a band effort with equal footing and every aspect of the band shines clearly, the album’s best track ‘Tyranny’ a perfect example. A metal core flavoured song it hits hard and low whilst the body is wrapped in stirring and insurgent guitar strikes before delivering again an impressive solo. Whatever one’s view of the release no one can deny the ability of the band and its individual members.
There is a very strong consistency across Echoes of the Fallen though at times also a similarity which does not detract from the release but does feel like it is just missing its potential at times. To be fair with the driving intensity of ‘By Horror Haunted ‘, the rapid response calling of ‘The Evangelist’, and the post hardcore tinged brutality of ‘Sleep Soundly No More’ as examples any less than positive comment is mere nit picking.
The overall sensation upon listening to Echoes of the Fallen is of full satisfaction with each and every listen bringing a little more to the fore. Anterior will strongly build on their already existing acclaim with Echoes of the Fallen and with more of their highly charged live shows coming up the recommendation is to check them and the album out and soon.