Fireworks

Archer - 'Culling The Weak' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     October 28, 2015    
 
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This is up there with Maiden's (and Sabbath's) debut; if they keep this up these guys could go far.

'Culling the Weak' is the debut album from Santa Cruz-based power trio Archer. Production by Mike Clink (known for working with bands like Guns 'N' Roses and Mötley Crüe) promises much and the album has pedigree, there's no doubt.

Archer cites influences such as Black Sabbath and Black Label Society and this comes through in the heavyweight power-chord laden fare on offer. They have managed to produce something which resembles old-school Doom Metal and yet not at all ripped off. The album also brings to mind Black Stone Cherry because of the deep, rich throaty vocals of front-man Dylan Rose. It is partly the richness of his tones which broadens this release's appeal, but the fine songs back that up and also show off his talent, while the guitar work takes a nod or two from Iron Maiden at times; once again without compromising any originality.

It feels really good to hear music like this still being made, sounding so full of heritage and yet so fresh. Interestingly, the album will be released first in Europe and then the U.S.A. a month or so later. Certainly the roots of this record are in England and so comparisons could be made with Metallica who took the influences from such acts as Diamond Head and made them their own with a damn fine "American music with mass appeal" twist, and that is what is happening with Archer.

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One of the finest tracks on offer is opener 'Belief'. For material so heavy, these songs are full of hooks that sink right in. For a young band, there is impressive maturity in the tracks, with prominent others being 'King For A Day' and 'My Atrocity'. It's the quality of the songs that open this album up to appreciation by all fans of traditional English Metal and it could possibly hold its own alongside the first Sabbath album, such is the likely breadth of its appeal. In fact arguably the vocals are finer (although Ozzy Osbourne remains unique and unparalleled).

These kids didn't get there first and no one can ever take that away from bands like Sabbath, but when new bands come up with material like this, no one can say "Rock (or Metal) is dead". If the passion for music is there, then it's still possible to come up with material that is totally Classic and yet avoids sounding precisely like any particular artist or song. We only have to look at the success of bands like Maiden to see the potential market for high quality, effortlessly fine Metal, just like it's supposed to be. This is up there with Maiden's (and Sabbath's) debut; if they keep this up these guys could go far.

Dawn Osborne

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