Unleash the Archers Demons of the Astrowaste

Upon initial inspections, the design and packaging of this disc are on the completely epic side of awful. But once get past the garish, badly photo shopped initial impression, there's a very good, creative power metal album hiding underneath. Brittany Hayes has a great voice, displaying fantastic tone, range and power, making good use of the many techniques at her disposal. Her voice is mixed strangely though, with her vocals coming across as matte, with a bit of a hollow echo, sounding completely alone and in a closed room. This is out of place against the sparkling guitar sound and the expansive atmosphere the rest of the instrumentation create. The sound is ultimately successful, creating a huge, strange auditory landscape for the listener to explore. Unleash the Archers are going for a futuristic, sci-fi warrior vibe on Demons of the Astrowaste, setting themselves apart from a great deal of power metal that firmly roots itself in high fantasy. This is an album made of rivets and blasters instead of dragons and chain mail bikinis. While this works in the soundscape, the lyrics are generic. Hayes could be singing about anything: knights, astronauts, demons, historical battles, etc. The lyrics all gesture towards the epic, but never give any details. This is a shame, considering there is such a rich potential lexicon to draw from. However, Demons of the Astrowaste is a surprisingly good album with great transitions, such as when swooping, soaring arena rock anthem "Realm of Tomorrow" somehow moves effortlessly into the wistful, solo-heavy "General of the Dark Army." The music here is strong and lovely. (Independent)