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Unleash The Archers - "Time Stands Still" (CD)

Unleash The Archers - "Time Stands Still" CD cover image

"Time Stands Still" track listing:

1. Northern Passage (Intro)
2. Frozen Steel
3. Hail of the Tide
4. Tonight We Ride
5. Test Your Metal
6. Crypt
7. No More Heroes
8. Dreamcrusher
9. Going Down Fighting
10. Time Stands Still

Reviewed by on June 24, 2015

"As you dig in to meet the charge of the now doubled foe, your sound-processing lobe picks up…. Blast beats? Death metal vocals? Can it be? Yes! 'Hail of the Tide' has the one thing you need to survive – brootality."

Sometimes you just need to storm a castle. Or sack a city. Capture enemy territory. Depose a king. Weekend stuff. But it’s a Tuesday and you forgot to bring your Amon Amarth CDs to the office. Good thing you have “Time Stands Still” in your briefcase (go with it -- some people still use briefcases). You’ve only got 40 minutes to obliterate the enemy’s forward patrols before lunch is over, so you do what you must and pop in what you’ve got. 40 minutes later, you are bloody and triumphant.

The first notes of intro “Northern Passage” filter through your soundbits and your blood begins to simmer. You set up your ambush as the enemy soldiers prepare to cross a river. You’ve got them cornered. The wind changes, the waterside soldiers feel it, and you’re out of time. You rise from your crouch, motion to your men, and the rush to the enemy. You feel more than your feet carrying you to arms -- inspiration, desire and mortality combined as Brittney Slayes layers vocal harmonies– a valkyrie of death, surely. Battle is joined.

Unleash the Archers supports your clash of blades with the solid and muscular power metal of “Frozen Steel.” Everything you need to kill more than you are killed is right here. All is going well, but the wind shifts again. You look past the battle and see… enemy reinforcements. You’ll be outnumbered and pinched from your escape route in a matter of seconds.

Not to worry, you’ve got tricks of your own. As you dig in to meet the charge of the now doubled foe, your sound-processing lobe picks up…. Blast beats? Death metal vocals? Can it be? Yes! “Hail of the Tide” has the one thing you need to survive – brootality. It isn’t the whole song, but it’s just enough to turn you from veteran swordsman to a frothing berserker. By the time the 32nd notes kick back in your unit has re-formed a line and you realize your jagged axes have once again evened the battle.

On and on it goes. Seconds as minutes as hours. The battle shifts constantly and you are driven forward by harsh vocals, soaring falsettos, searing solos, dramatic melodies, blast beats and swords-in-the-flesh choruses.

Eventually your band of warriors grinds more death into the bones of the enemy than they have into you, and the day is won. You drop your shield, wading into the river to wash the blood from your blades and reflect on the decimation of so many warriors, friend and foe alike. As the carrion birds begin to circle and you leave battle field the title track’s large-chested chorus fades away. You realize that this battle would have been won much more quickly had one of the Great Generals – such as Kursch or Hegg – had been leading the charge. Yet you also realize that without such grand leadership an extra regiment of archers helped you avoid godly introductions for one more day.

You tell all this to Larry as you sit down at your one o’clock meeting. He looks at you weird. Lucky for that mook “Time Stands Still” ended on the elevator, or else you would have had to fashion an axe out of pens and rubber bands. It’s still Tuesday, and you just don’t have time for that.

Highs: The combination of Slayes' harmonized vocals and harsh screams deliver the goods.

Lows: Toward the end the of the record Unleash the Archers gets repetitive.

Bottom line: These Canadian power metallers may not match the greats, but their unique style is strong.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)