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When it gets the point where a band or artist actually reaches their tenth studio album, they really are deserving of a massive pat on the back or mass applause. In today's music industry, for a band to even reach their third album is rare, so be on the tenth album is something of an anomaly. Archive are flying the flag for longevity and perseverance, but Restriction is a demonstration that extensive experience can lead to a serious case of sitting in the comfort zone.

Restriction opens with a pent-up, storming trooper of a track in the shape of 'Feel It'. It is fuelled by pounding, break-neck beats and strained vocals from main man Darius Keeler that help in building this overwhelming expression of tension, as it bombs along on the road to destruction. Equally, the title track, 'Restriction', helps build this tension and develop this feeling of restriction. It creates the feeling that they could really be on to an album that will act as a perfect example of what continental Europe have loved so much about this collective over the last twenty years or so.

Standout track 'Kid Corner' marks one of the moments when things really take an exciting turn. The collective's latest recruit, Holly Martin, brings an incredible, dark edge to the storming electronic track as she explores the subject of 'kids with guns'. It's a brilliant track, where every element works to get you thinking about societal issues surrounding gun crime, and really elaborates Archive's skill to create well-crafted and evocative electronically-based music which has got them to the tenth-album stage of their career. This should have been the sound that Archive explored further on this album. This intense darkness suits them, and marks the collective at its most powerful.

Instead, after all that pent-up anger and darkness, the listener is suddenly stopped in their tracks. There we all are, getting political and tense, when, without any warning, the tone has suddenly changed. 'End of Our Days', 'Third Quarter Storm' and 'Half Built Houses' sit awkwardly against the opening tracks, as they drastically slow the pace of the whole album. Their stripped-back pop balladry just don't sound quite right up against the rest of album, and furthermore there seems to be few distinguishing features between the three tracks. Martin's vocals sound great, but the velvety pop that the songs exhibit sound so strange up against the aggression that slapped you around the face in the opening. It just doesn't quite work.

Fortunately, there is a return to form in the shape of 'Ride In Squares', but it's not quite enough to totally convince you that the 7 member collective aren't resting on their laurels with this album. Restriction comes only a year after Axiom, and perhaps that is what taints this collection of songs. It's too much, too soon. Arguably, these tracks feel a bit like the songs that didn't make it onto Axiom. It is a shame, as when this album shines, with tracks like 'Kid Corner' and even 'Ruination', it seems like Archive could have really been onto something here, but have just missed the mark.

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