Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still
Release Date: July 10, 2015
Unleash the Archers is a heavy metal act that hails from the frozen Northern reaches of Canada; Vancouver to be exact. They are a fairly new entity to the metal realm and have quickly climbed the ranks since their creation in 2007. Unleash the Archers display a unique take on heavy metal, fusing elements of power metal and modern melodic death metal into their instrumentation. While these characteristics of metal have been used in conjunction with one another many times before, Unleash the Archers manages to bring about a refreshing and energetic take on the matter, especially in their newest effort Time Stands Still.
Time Stands Still marks as the group’s third full-length album, the first to be composed without Brayden Dyczkowski, who was one of the main songwriters until his departure. With this change and the addition of the new guitarist, Andrew Kingsley, the band has slowly driven their sound to a more traditional heavy metal direction. While some may be put off by this, I’ve found the slight shift in ideas to be quite entertaining and impressive.
“Northern Passage” starts off the record with soft drums that lead into a melodic piano introduction. Guitars soon enter the fray and create the ever familiar and epic build up to the next track, “Frozen Steel”, a song that immediately gets the blood pumping. Grant Truesdell and Andrew Kingsley showcase their synergy with infectious, melodic riffs layering atop Scott Buchanan’s tight, syncopated drums and Kyle Sheppard’s immense bass work to tie it together. After this showcase of the instrumental side of the band, Brittney Slayes makes her appearance with a devastating demonstration of her falsetto vocals that are soon mixed with sturdy heavy metal vocal stylings one would find in other well foundationed acts. Right away, Unleash the Archers stand out from the crowd and place themselves upon a pedestal that can only be reached by truly legendary acts. If your ears aren’t already infatuated with the sounds here, then there is most likely something wrong with you.
“Hail of the Tide” and “Tonight We Ride” follow suit, with Brittney pushing it to full power. The rest of the band implements heavy metal galloping riffs to coincide with the heroic movements of the vocals as well as adding in some harsh tones to accentuate the contrasting inner workings. Gang vocals also come about, drawing more influences from the heavy metal roots. Check out the campy, Mad Max-esque video for “Tonight We Ride”, below:
Fans of anthemic, fist-shaking, traditional rockers, need look no further than the infectious, “Test Your Metal”. Slayes sounds more confident than ever, and in a recent interview with Metalholic, admitted this is her favorite track on the record.
“Crypt” changes up the game with a darker approach, with heavier hitting riffs which in turn feel as if they slow down the pacing the band was going for in earlier efforts. This energy infects the songs that follow, such as “No More Heroes” and “Dreamcrusher”, with more focus on power instead of finesse.
“Time Stands Still” closes the album with a “battle hymn” that leads into a true heavy metal anthem fit for old and new school fans alike. This is the proper way to end an album with metal spirit. If this doesn’t get you to hit the play button again, I don’t know what will.
Time Stands Still is a record that will resonate for some time, as it is an opus that contains very few negative notions. Unleash the Archers meld many different ideas into an outstanding hour long anthem of heroic passages, a feat that shouldn’t be taken lightly. While they may not be redefining any genres, they are certainly pushing the boundaries of the term epic. Heavy metal shows no slowing down, especially with Unleash the Archers at the helm.