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Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still

Unleash the Archers - CD Review
Time Stands Still

Unleash the Archers - Time Stands Still



CD Info
Napalm Records
10 tracks
English lyrics
Release: Europe June 26, North America July 10

Unleash the Archers (UTA) from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, have been around since 2007, and have since released 3 studio albums and an EP. Their first album, Behold the Devastation, was released in 2009, succeeded by Demons of the Astrowaste in 2011. In 2012, the 3(-4) track EP Defy the Skies quickly followed. After that, it got a little quiet, until earlier this year the band announced a new record deal with the renowned Austrian metal label Napalm Records. Only a few months later, their 3rd studio album, Time Stands Still, is about to be released.

UTA have had what can be called a bit of an inconsistent musical history, and I mean this in the best possibly way. When a friend first showed them to me in 2011, their 2nd album freshly released, I went 'oh, this is power metal, but I really like it' (no offense to all power metal fans out there). I ordered the album, along with their first one, only to find out that the first one was basically melodic death metal (something much more to my liking). This latest album now is taking yet another turn, towards traditional heavy metal. Even though this may sound like they don't know what they're doing or where they're going, exactly the opposite is true. Their music has never seemed experimental, or like they were still in the process of finding their style, but each album forms a solid unit, and in the big picture there is always that golden thread running from their first release to their latest. Their style, although changing, is very distinct, and someone familiar with the band will probably recognize their new songs even without being told who they're listening to.

The album opens with an intro that combines the piano and strings with drums and guitars as well as some electronica elements – showing the whole scope of what UTA is about. Building into a dramatic and quite epic conglomeration of the aforementioned, the intro fades right into the first song, “Frozen Steel”, a classic heavy metal song, like many of the songs on Time Stands Still. Throughout the album, singer Brittney alternates between high pitched screams common in heavy and power metal and deeper rock vocals with ease, delivering a powerful performance no matter what. She is complemented by male growls, and together they are carried by a fast-paced and virtuosic interplay of the guitars/bass and driven by the thundering drums. Especially the guitar work deserves further mentioning. The solos, each and every one of them captivating, are expertly done, but don't become the sole center of one's attention, as they are still backed up with rhythm parts, creating a rich overall sound. This crucial part is unfortunately neglected by many bands.

Some songs that stick out are “Tonight We Ride”, for which the band has shot a visually amazing, Mad Max-themed video (see below), “Crypt”, which takes the observant listener back to the band's first album (the melodic death one), and “Test Your Metal”, a song more old school heavy metal than any of the others, which should turn out to be really fun live, and which is best enjoyed with a nice, cool beer. The album slows down only twice, with “Dreamcrusher” (a ballad of sorts, you may at first think, but don't be fooled), and “Time Stands Still”, which picks up the epic/dramatic tone from the intro and also closes this chapter of UTA's discography. Even though the album has a pretty much standard length of about an hour, it just seems to fly by and at the end of it, it has you thirsting for more. With the new record deal sealed the outlook is very good, though, and we can hopefully hold the next release in our hands not too long from now. We can only guess what style of metal UTA will come up with next. In the meantime, Time Stands Still should keep us well entertained while we are waiting.

Tonight We Ride” - Official video

01 Northern Passage
02 Frozen Steel
03 Hail of the Tide
04 Tonight We Ride
05 Test Your Metal
06 Crypt
07 No More Heroes
08 Dreamcrusher
09 Going Down Fighting
10 Time Stands Still

Unleash the Archers are:
Brittney Slayes - Vocals
Scott Buchanan - Drums
Grant Truesdell - Guitar, Vocals
Andrew Kingsley - Guitar, Vocals
Kyle Sheppard - Bass

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