Unleash the Archers

Keeping its roots and giving a step ahead, the Canadian quintet is up to get to the next level.
April 15, 2024

The Canadian Metal scene was strong in the first half of the 80s, with acts as ANVIL, EXCITER, VOIVOD, KICK AXE, HELIX and many others, but it seems as NWOBHM lost its strength and major labels entered the stage, the Canadian Metal acts or ended their activities, or were laying into underground. But as things changed again, the country is being a stronghold of Metal again, with fine acts coming from the country and enjoying a certain commercial success. And the name of the quintet UNLEASH THE ARCHERS is widely known, almost everyone has heard about their music. But for those that still don’t know the band’s music, “Phantoma” is a fine opportunity to do it.

Andrew Saunders (producer, recording), J.J. Heath (recording) and Jacob Hansen (mixing, mastering) are the ones who were brought to work on the sonority of the album, and it’s almost the same team who worked on “Abyss”, their previous album (as we say in Brazil, ‘we don’t change things in a team that’s winning the matches’). The sonority is what expected: clean, defined and with weight, but allowing the band’s melodic sense to be heard and understood, what means that things worked in a great way on studio. And the artwork of Dusty Peterson for the cover is the ‘grand finale’, depicting what the fans will hear on the album.

The quintet works on a traditional Heavy/Power Metal way, aligning weight and melodies in the due proportions, with very good choruses and ‘arrowing’ melodies that hit the target. But if one pay attention, it’s full of influences from US Metal, US Power Metal and Hard Rock of the 80s, making things truly accessible to a broader public and maybe “Phantoma” represents the turn ion the career into a higher level of success, because it’s excellent and hooking, and the songs are truly great! It’s a case of listening to it and become in love.

The maturity shown on the songs is amazing, a fruit of the experience and hard work they put on their music. But to have a taste of what they’re up to, check “Human Era” (an accessible song fully influenced by US Metal acts as QUEENSRŸCHE, with lovely melodies and excellent vocals laid upon melodic instrumental foundations), “Ph4/NT0mA” (a moment into a more Power Metal tendency, with excellent contrasts between guitars and keyboards arrangements), “Buried in Code” (a mix between Power Metal and Heavy Metal influences is heard here, with fine rhythmic conductions from bass guitar and drums), “The Collective” (the band depicts a more actual form of Power Metal in this one due the speed, but the melodic hooks on it are hard to resist to), “Green & Glass” (another accessible piece of music based on very good melodies, here respecting a more traditional way into Power Metal), “Gods in Decay” (again the Hard Rock accessible elements are heard on this one, again with fine combinations between vocals and rhythms), “Give It Up or Give It All” (wow, what lovely 80s-like melodies heard on this one, again with vocals fitting perfectly, and what great guitar riffs), and… Well, let’s spare some time and say that “Ghosts in the Mist”, “Seeking Vengeance” and “Blood Empress” keep the high level of the previous ones, and are not expendable.

It’s early to say if “Phantoma” can be said as the best album of the genre of this year. But one can say for sure that UNLEASH THE ARCHERS created an opus that will be a strong candidate for it.

10 / 10









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"Phantoma" Track-listing:
  1. Human Era
  2. Ph4/NT0mA
  3. Buried in Code
  4. The Collective
  5. Green & Glass
  6. Gods in Decay
  7. Give It Up or Give It All
  8. Ghosts in the Mist
  9. Seeking Vengeance
  10. Blood Empress
Unleash the Archers Lineup:

Brittney Slayes - Vocals
Grant Truesdell - Guitars, Vocals
Andrew Kingsley - Guitars, Vocals
Nick Miller - Bass
Scott Buchanan - Drums

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