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Archer - "Doom$day Profit$" (CD)

Archer - "Doom$day Profit$" CD cover image

"Doom$day Profit$" track listing:

1. Man Who Knows All (4:14)
2. Pride Before The Fall (3:46)
3. Possessive Obsession (3:36)
4. Sanctuary (4:26)
5. Van Salem (4:06)
6. Brewtality (5:09)
7. Disdained Delight (8:21)
8. Andrea (3:07)
9. Wild Roads (3:44)
10. Hell Hath No Fury (4:09)
11. Trusting In Fate (7:27)

Reviewed by on February 13, 2009

"Though Archer seems to show an interest in pursuing a heavier sound, the strictly clean vocals and cymbal-centered drums hold them back."

Archer’s premiere album “Doom$day Profit$” is an ideal choice for mainstream radio listeners wanting to dip their toes into the waters of metal. The primarily hard rock Santa Cruz band dabbles in classic metal and glam, but what makes the album different from other hard rock acts is the funk and sleaze guitar components that have a definite Jimi Hendrix feel to them.

The witty titles “Van Salem” and “Brewtality” are both permeated with funk, as are the guitar shreds in “Andrea.” “Brewtality” adds a disco rhythm and backup vocals, while “Andrea” opens with a great swing tempo, bringing to mind Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, before breaking down into a southern rock tune. A bit of blues can even be found in “Pride Before The Fall,” mixed with a melodic chorus and a glam metal feel.

Archer’s melodic vocals can’t be stressed enough. Regardless of the varied instrumental styles, the lead singer’s voice is strictly melodic. Even in heavier, more traditional metal tracks like “Possessive Obsession” and “Hell Hath No Fury,” the vocals are about as hardcore as Kurt Cobain. Still, the light melodic vocals are ideal for hard rock, glam tracks like “Sanctuary” and “Trusting In Fate.”

“Trusting In Fate” is a bit more complex, with its mellow 80’s style ballad opening that moves into an Eddie Van Halen style shred. Despite the chugging bass line and Led Zeppelin inspired ending, the vocals maintain a mellow hard rock level.

A similar sound makes up “Wild Roads,” a track where the drums come across hurried, as well as “Man Who Knows All,” a strictly hard rock tune, and “Sanctuary,” where heavy harmonizing and repetitive lyrics are offset only by brief glimpses of classic guitar shreds.

The most diverse track is “Disdained Delight,” which begins with a hopeful metal sound similar to classic Metallica. Drums help speed up the tempo, but then it abruptly switches to a nearly unplugged sounding ballad with just a few short moments of a sleaze guitar. Eventually, the vocals virtually drop off, and the song is overtaken by unnecessary and repetitive instrumentals that aren’t cohesive with the rest of the song.

“Doom$day Profit$” is an impressive enough album for a premiere, but Archer’s style is probably a bit too commercial for many metal fans. Both the guitarist and bassist display some real promise, with their alternating chugs and shreds, and the funk element adds a depth that would otherwise make this album no different than any other hard rock act.

Though Archer seems to show an interest in pursuing a heavier sound, the strictly clean vocals and cymbal-centered drums hold them back. Since the lead singer doubles as the guitarist, and shows much more heart in his strumming, another vocalist would make a nice addition. However, their smart lyrics and relatively short, pleasing songs give them a good chance at plenty of air time.

Highs: Funk-oriented riffs add depth.

Lows: Drums are too light, and “Disdained Delight” drags on too long.

Bottom line: If you like hard rock and funk, you’ll probably like the album. Everyone else might as well save their money.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)