Unleash the Archers – Time Stands Still (Napalm)

Sunday, 28th June 2015
Rating: 9.5/10

Our neighbors to the North in Canada seem to be throwing down a bevy of horns up metal bands these days. Can’t quite pinpoint if it’s due to the brutal winters with arctic winds or the working class ethics that fuel the movement, but nevertheless the consumers benefit as a result of the talent uptick and output. From western Canada in Vancouver we gain another strong melodic power metal act in Unleash the Archers – who make the move up to Napalm Records on their third full length Time Stands Still.

The quintet in their eight year history have established quite a resume in terms of live performances (including self-financed sojourns in the US and Mexico), cinematic quality videos, and musicianship/songs that straddle the melodic power meets death field. Losing one of their founding members in guitarist Brayden Dyczkowski last year (who also contributed heavily in the songwriting department) could have sent the band into a tailspin – but as these 9 tracks in the main showcase, new blood strengthens the band’s resolve to pour every ounce of energy into their craft.

Noticeable throughout on highlights like “Frozen Steel”, first video/single “Tonight We Ride”, and “Going Down Fighting” is an uncanny knack for choosing the right background refrain, guitar hook/harmony, or overall rhythmic double bass/snare groove to involve maximum metal participation. Newest guitarist Andrew Saunders along with veteran Grant Truesdell deliver sharp axe maneuvers, many reaching back into more of a traditional foundation, yet still featuring the right gallops, precision, and fiery breaks to keep the legions stirring. Bassist Kyle Sheppard and drummer Scott Buchanan keep the bottom end rhythm train a rollin’, throwing down the best foundation for these arrangements to cement themselves quickly and beckon continuous repeated exposure.

The difference maker for Unleash the Archers resides in the sterling, rarely-rivaled pipes of Brittney Slayes. Living up to her last name, her upper falsetto work on “Test Your Metal” plus the lower to mid-range clarity during the nine minute plus epic “Dreamcrusher” will have many think of Bruce Dickinson and Daniel Heiman (ex-Lost Horizon), while the supplementary male extreme vocals give the band that heavier edge from their past.

Do you miss fist-pumping metal anthems? Time Stands Still is quintessential for that need to scream and sing, let loose period in life when the music means the world to us. If you love Iron Maiden, Lost Horizon, Thundersteel era Riot, solid power metal awaits in the grandest manner from Unleash the Archers.

Unleash the Archers official website