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Review of “Time Stands Still” by Unleash the Archers 2015

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Time Stands Still Out June 26th

 

I have no idea why, but of all the new bands coming out lately, Unleash the Archers has stuck with me the most. Their past releases have also vastly impressed me. There is a very refined and powerful quality to this band, exhibiting the same qualities I admire in Hammerfall, Blind Guardian, and Battle Beast. Unleash the Archers is 100% Traditional Heavy Metal. No effects, no vague message, no overkill of production; Just Metal. I admire that simplicity in 2015, as many bands has taken a liking to overproduction or underproduction. Unleash the Archers is easily becoming one of my favorites because of this simplicity. “Time Stands Still” is their bombastic and fiery new album, pulsing with melody and vast speed. The melodic tones on this album are similar to Iron Maiden’s style of melody, with Hammerfall like speed. Comparisons aside, this album is a fantastic take on Traditional Heavy Metal and unlike anything I’ve heard. Songs like Tonight We Ride, Test Your Metal, and Going Down Fighting rage with technicality and enough emotion to blow your head off. I was so surprised and impressed by the quality of every track on this album. If you liked Unleash the Archers’ previous records, then get ready for a massive upgrade in sound. The vocals are higher and pushed to the limit. The guitars chug and scream above the melody. The drums stay tight and act as a constant rhythm, much like machine gun fire. This album thrives in older sounds, but keeps it modern. I could go on and foam over this album for the next five pages (Sorry about the Nightwish review… that was ranty) but I want to keep this review to the theme of the album. While Unleash the Archers could’ve gone into a more complicated writing technique, they succeeded in a simple but mind blowing album. They could have made more songs like General of the Dark Army, which would have pleased me, but they did something completely new. From what I hear, the band has truly found their sound and nearly perfected it. Rating; 9/10

 

Time Stands Still

 

Links:

http://www.unleashthearchers.com/

https://www.youtube.com/user/UnleashTheArchers

http://shop.napalmrecords.com/unleashthearchers

Slipknot Release New Music Video For “Killpop”

 

 

As far as Slipknot goes, The Gray Chapter is not necessarily their heaviest album, but it is their best.  The balance between melodic and heavy makes this album fairly brilliant.  They are never afraid to push boundaries, especially by making videos for softer songs.  I think in this boldness, Slipknot has grown and become something more than just Nu-Metal.  I absolutely love this song.  However, the video is quite vague and hard to connect with.  I expect a better video for Custer.

Pyramaze’s “Disciples of the Sun” 2015

 

From the mysterious and quiet country of Denmark, a group of masters were born into the world.  These Danish masters became known from the brilliant music they forge through infinite passion and the greatest of creativity.  This band of masters of Progressive and all clean genres of Metal is none other than Pyramaze.  A band born in 2001 by Michael Kammeyer, a fantastic guitarist, has had many strifes and changes.  Michael of course parted in 2010 along with original bassist Niels Kvist.  That left drummer Morten and keyboardist Jonah to continue the band’s powerful prowess.  Of course they were never alone with guitarist Toke and now Jacob Hansen, and many vocalist changes.  Each vocalist took their own spin in Pyramaze, all succeeding in quality and powerful vocals.  Previous vocals were quality, but none as passionate as new vocalist Terje Haroy.

 

Terje is spectacular on “Disciples of the Sun” as well as a solid full band effort.  The album is synchronized chaos with perfect grooves and riffs.  I honestly have trouble putting how good this album and why it is so good into words.  The nonstop pounding drums and riffs are incredibly energetic and ecstatic with technical ability.  It’s just pure unadulterated talent throughout the entire album.  Songs like  Battle of the Paridas are heavy and exciting with melodic riffs and perfect rhythm, where Disciples of the Sun puts the vocals front and center.  The vocals on this track and the album are the most solid I’ve heard from Pyramaze yet.  Musically “Disciples of the Sun” is a different direction for Pyramaze and I think it is a brilliant direction.

 

Rating; 9/10

 

One of the best albums of 2015

PRO-PAIN Mosh With a New Album

If you like moshing, angry, and thrashing music, Pro-Pain is probably in your wheelhouse.  They put out shredding and malicious Metal with a voice.  Their music is a soundtrack to an angry protest with passion.  They have found success in their voice of reason, allowing them to continue on with new album “Voice of Rebellion”.  This is not unlike music I listen to, but it certainly differing from your typical Metal album.  Pro-Pain have shredding guitars, pounding drums, grunty and chesty growls, and occasionally some rap lines.  I’d hate to use genres to describe their sound, but it is somewhere along the lines of Nu-Metal with Thrash influences.  At least, that’s what their new album exudes.

 

“Voice of Rebellion” is an album I’d expect to be featured in a videogame or a highly popular action film.  It’s your typical angry and shredding modern Metal album, just with politics dropped like an awkward f-bomb in a peaceful setting.  I enjoy political themes integrated into Metal, some of my most favorite bands use politics to fuel their music.  However, the reason I enjoy their form of political lyrics is because they’re vastly intelligent and can apply to many different things.  Pro-Pain took what could’ve been a decent mainstream album and ruined it with unintelligible lyrics.  These political and “influential lyrics” and just strewn into mediocre Metal.  There are so many better ways to use themes and issues in music.  While some of the vocals are good and the guitar solos are exciting, the content of the album is flat.  None of it means anything to me.

 

While “Voice of Rebellion” may be good for soundtracks used for 30 seconds in another boring mediocre action film or a clip used in a new trailer for Call of Duty 40: The most mediocre reiteration, it has little else to offer.  If this band plans to continue, they will have to reinvent themselves and use their influences in a more outright way.  If you can not pull people in with your message and just right mosh music, you won’t last long.

Immortal Guardian Shred With “Revolution Part 1”

Immortal Guardian Shred With “Revolution Part 1”

Guitar and keyboard virtuoso Gabriel Guardian has brought Power Metal back to America with high quality writing and Traditional Metal values.  This guy can shred like nothing I’ve heard in America.  In Immortal Guardian, technicality comes first in all areas of music, something European bands take pride in.  This self made Texas based band has a lot to prove by making this kind of music here, and I think “Revolution Part 1” is a start, but only a small drop in the bucket.

 

Regardless if you have a guitar virtuoso, there’s so many other qualities that are key in good Power Metal.  I look for powerful and large ranged vocalists, something front man Carlos Rema definitely has.  However, I find the vocals inconsistent and not always in the pocket.  It throws the whole sound off, especially on tracks like Walk Alone.  I expected a lot better quality of music overall.  I dislike the transitions between verses and choruses as well, it sounds rushed and unrehearsed.  I love the piano and whenever the vocals are on and also the amazing guitar work, but the drums ruin the whole thing for me.  The way the drums are recorded or mixed sound canned and often do not match the rhythm.  The drums just do not fit with the music.  I imagine the band worked very hard on this and it is a shame how bad the drums sound.  The only song I can stand to listen to is Beyond the Skies, it sounds the least canned of all the tracks.

 

Overall, it’s a good EP and a good part to a new and fresh album.  I would say that the production quality is lacking and I would have liked to hear another take on a lot of these songs.  If the drums are machined into the music, then I would honestly suggest taking a little more time to mix them in correctly.  In the 21st century with amazing music engineering, there is no excuse for such a bad mix on what could have been a great record.  Fear Factory used a drum machine on their last release and it sounded perfect.  I had no idea the drums were machined until someone told me.  Sometimes the vocals sound like Iron Maiden karaoke as well.  The lack of anything new or unique in this record is a disappointment to the classification to Power Metal.  I am disappointed in this release and expected a better quality record.  Regardless of if you’ve toured with Judas Priest or not, a good record is important to keep going.  Immortal Guardian better pull something big out with the next part of “Revolution”.