Hail Archer - Leave Your Body Behind
Record Label: None
Release Date: October 20, 2009
Hail Archer is a rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Despite solid credentials (they have been on numerous top unsigned and upcoming artists lists, and have played/will play with bands like Thrice and Manchester Orchestra), the band’s popularity has yet to really take off. This is unfortunate, for as they show on Leave Your Body Behind, they bring a excellent, Thrice-like blend of melody and aggression to the table that makes for an impressive sound that music fans should take notice of.
The album starts out with “Open Air,” a short intro track that does a decent job leading into the real meat of the album. The real action kicks off with “Stormbringer,” which fittingly follows the soft intro with a short breakdown. The guitars quickly pull back though, allowing room for vocalist Brian Tombari to enter. This is a good track to start with, as it grabs your attention and shows off the bands individual and collective talent. It also carries well into “Fearing Forever,” which introduces a few screams/bellows towards the end of the track, enhancing the tracks emotion and intensity.
These guys are definitely talented. Tombari owns it vocally, able to go from softly serenading to belting it out with the flip of a switch (see “Bury This in Texas”). Guitarists Adam and Andrew Balfour are excellent throughout, and bassist Evan Menzer and drummer Jon Kraft are equally impressive, keeping it all together.
The only real criticism is that songs are all somewhat similar. But they are also all good, and on a six song EP (one of which is a short intro) it isn’t much of a problem. Because of this, though, it’s hard to pick out a single stand-out track. I’ll go with “Bury This in Texas,” the one holdover from their previous EP. With an intense beginning, outstanding guitar work, and a perfect balance of the aggressive parts with the softer interludes, the track truly shines.
Really, though, every track is excellent. “Decades Underground” features outstanding drumming and powerful, emotive vocals. Finale “Manipulated Living” features stimulating guitar riffs that you can’t help but caught up in, a few well-placed screams, and an all-around impressive finish to the album.
With this release, Hail Archer has given us a number of high quality songs. This is an incredibly talented band that (I’ll let their own words express it, as I really can’t put it any better) “blends qualities of unbridled attitude and aggressiveness with blistering and beautiful atmospherics to create a sonic landscape of raw feeling and energy.”[/color] With a new album being recorded in July with Kris Crummett[color=black], look for Hail Archer to improve on an already excellent sound.