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In Archives - 'Traitors' (self released) 3.5/5

I know I joke about it, but hardly a week goes past without a new metalcore outfit stuffing their latest offering into my inbox, and this week is no different. This time it's Peterborough noise merchants In Archives who are chancing their arm.

Now this outfit are very new, they only formed last year, although apparently their various members have been around on their local scene for a while, and as 'core stuff goes this aint to bad. Its brutal, got some nice lead guitar work, the traditional clean and dirty vocal interplay and riffs that variate from the fast as frigg to the dark and doomy. Tracks like Lost At Sea and The Oncoming Seasons are the sort of stuff that will keep your average circle pit going all night. 'Core fans will love it.

However, like a lot of the 'core that's around at the moment it is a bit formulaic and doesn't really stand out from the crowd of other 'core wannabes that are bombarding my in tray at the moment, but as long as In Archives are content to cater to their 'core audience and not seeking broader horizons, there is nothing wrong with that.

In Short - Core kids will love it, the rest may wanna try before they buy

For fans of ... Converge, Pay No Respect, The Bled, Skin The Pig

Black Iris - 'Black Iris' (self released) 3.5/5

It's metal time again, and this time it's Surrey outfit Black Iris who are stepping up to the plate with this four tracker to see if they can stand out from all the other hopefuls.

Well things start off promisingly. This ep's opener The Tangled Web We Weave is a bit of a classic of epic proportions, eight minutes long, nice melodic vocals counter pointed with the usual pig grunting, some fast and intense riffage and a slick widdly yet tuneful wah wah guitar solo. And thus it continues. It's Only Just Begun has hint of the old Iron Maidens to it - even to extent of sounding a tad like Phantom of the Opera on its lead break. Better Luck Tomorrow wouldn't be out of place on an Alter Bridge album whilst closer (and this ep's stand out track) Heart Still Beats is as tasteful a slice of contemporary commercial metal as anything the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Avenged Sevenfold or Killswitch Engaged could cook up.

Don't get me wrong, this ep isn't perfect, it sounds a tad too generic to be truly remarkable, but Black Iris are a young band with their first release and they show enough talent here to show that given time and guidance they could develop into something a bit special.

In Short - Worth a look.

For Fans Of.. Killswitch Engaged, Alter Bridge, Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine.

Anterior - 'Echoes Of The Fallen' (metal blade) 5/5

I have been hearing good things about Anterior for sometime, nearly every band I've had on the show over recent months has been tipping them as the next big thing in UK metal, and now at last we have Echos of The Fallen, the debut album from this hotly tipped outfit. So does it live up to the expectation and hype?

The answer is a simple YES. It's been a long time since I've come across an album by a British metal band that has hit me with so much wow factor. It's tight, powerful, slick, controlled and played to absolute perfection. Echoes Of The Fallen straddles the gap between thrash and mainstream metal. You get blasts that echo (pun intended) 'The Force' - Onslaughts incredible 1986 album, the mark by which all British thrash shall be measured, yet other sections are pure Judas Priest / Iron Maiden - melodic harmony guitar lines a-go-go and then there are hints of other greats here Dragonforce, Black Sabbath, Saxon, Marshall Law... all the good stuff.

A track by track breakdown is not called for here, for every number is a complete gem but a few highlights include: the epic opening of To Live Not Remain;  some wonderfully doomy riffage in By Horror Haunted; the brain bludgeoning brutality of opening to The Evangelist - a track that resolves into something so epic Dragonforce would sell their souls to have penned; the face melting intensity of Venomous; the sublime lead guitar work on Senora de las Sombras... I could go on, but you get the picture. Basically there is not a weak moment on show here, this album is just 44 minutes of metallic heaven.

Remember this is a debut album from a fairly new band, and if they are this good at the start, just imagine what they can be once they have got a few more releases under their belt and done a few tours to hone their already impressive sound... I have a feeling we just might be witnessing here the birth of the new metal gods.

In short this is an album that MUST be added to the collection of everyone who claims to be a metal fan.

For Fans of... Slayer, Trivium, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dragonforce etc etc etc...