Wednesday 11 November 2015

Archarus - Render Unto Archarus (Album Review)

Release date: November 9th 2015. Label: Self Released. Format: CD/DD

Render Unto Archarus – Tracklisting

1.Sea Wolf 04:28
2.Under A Tattered Banner 04:19
3.Lizardfish 06:44
4.Tower of the Wizard 04:52
5.The Last of the Giants 03:39
6.Fire Blade 07:20
7.Snow Hammer 07:28
8.San Sabado 06:25

Band Members:

Matt Hannon - Guitar & Voice
Drew Smith - Guitar
Tristan Thompson - Bass
John Mark Olson - Drums


Archarus style of Stoner Metal is one that will appeal to fans of Orange Goblin though with elements of Thrash Metal and NWOBHM giving the band a hard as nails approach on their debut album – Render Unto Archarus. The album isn’t the most original of sounds by any means but it’s the bands sense of fun and adventure that make this album such an exciting listen.

The album has a nautical feel as you can tell by the album cover and the lyrical content held within the opening song – Sea Wolf. OK, maybe the song title does give the game away a bit. The band calls their music – Vintage Metal and that’s a cool description as that’s what the band is good at. Mixing Vintage Metal/Classic Rock with a more modern Stoner Metal feel. The vocals have a 80s old school thrash metal band feel to them. It’s the riffs that will keep you entertained from start to finish.

Second track – Under A Tattered Banner – is more of the same Stoner/Thrash/Doom Metal hybrid sound from the opening song though Archarus opt for a Psych Rock feel towards the end of the song. approach. The vocals once again drift from the classic heavy metal style to a heavier doomier sound.

Third track – Lizardfish - sees the band opt for a more Wo Fat/Orange Goblin sound with the progressive stoner riffs having an air of menace to them. The vocals are very OTT but I suppose that’s the point especially with a song called Lizardfish. This song would have been better if it was purely instrumental affair but to give the band credit they’ve written some funny lyrics to match the OTT atmosphere. It will leave you with a smile on your face and it shows Stoner Metal doesn’t have to be so serious at times.

Fourth track – Tower Of The Wizard – moves away from the nautical world and into the realms of Fantasy. I’m going to stop over-analyzing this album and just enjoy the album for what is. A strong collection of songs where the band create heavy stoner riffs that are meant to be played at a loud volume. This song is no different as Archarus become ever more confident singing tales of battling sea monsters and becoming powerful wizards. No this isn’t Folk/Power Metal territory, just a band having fun with their music. Truth be told, it’s quite addictive at times.

The four remaining songs all share the same superb riffs and fantastical lyrics of the earlier songs. The whole mood and tone of the album remains the same from beginning to end. As I stated earlier, Archarus are not going to win any awards for originality but they’re a highly talented band. I think within a few years and perhaps a couple more releases they may have the potential to release something special. Until then Render Unto Archarus is a confident, brash and exciting debut album that will find a lot of fans within the Stoner Metal community.

Words by Steve Howe


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