Unleash The Archers
1720 – Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, September 22nd, 2021
A few years ago one of my oldest friends (Thanks Derek!) said “you have to check out this singer” and sent me a live video of Unleash The Archers‘ “Awakening” (which it was) and that singer was Brittney Slayes (which she did).
Well I delved into Unleash The Archers and although I’m not usually a fan of bands that include “growling” or “unclean” vocals, UTA meshes them seamlessly into songs in such a complimentary, subtle fashion, that I was hooked!
And hooked is a great word because this band is full of them… Hailing from the Great White North, Unleash The Archers have been waiting patiently for the world to open up so they could head “South” to rattle some bushes and heads in the good old U.S.of A.
For the packed crowd at “1720“, the wait was worth it. Allow me to detour here for a second about the venue. “1720” is the name and address of this club in Los Angeles and to say that the surrounding area is run down, would be an understatement. I’ll put it this way the lyrics “You in the Jungle Baybee… You donna Die…” ran through my head for most of the night. There is limited parking near the venue, and the fun part part about getting there a bit late is trying to find a place where you’re giving your vehicle a good chance of being in the same place and/or condition you left it. The club inside is decent enough. It’s pretty small, dark, and ready for a large contingent of sweaty metal heads to headbang and mosh around in. Sort of reminded me of the little clubs back in N. Ireland where I used to watch these unknown bands play in. A really cool vibe for this type of show. Also..with this type of club the lighting is typically a lovely shade of red or magenta which are a nightmare for photographers and result in these fine selections of Black and White and highly dulled down pictures…
Back to the show…
Now that travel restrictions have eased up a bit, Unleash The Archers are finally getting to tour in support of their 2020 album, “Abyss“. And the excitement from the crowd AND the band was palpable. The lights went down and Grant Truesdell (guitar), Andrew Kinglsey (guitar), Nick Miller (bass) and Scott Buchanan (drums) came to the stage while the intro tape played. When Brittney walked out the band ripped into “Abyss” and the crowd went wild. I had been dying to hear these songs live and even though I was shooting like a madman I had a huge grin under my mask.
UTA are tight AF and it always amazes me to see such intricate, speed metal played by a band that makes it look completely effortless. I felt like I was breaking more of a sweat than Scott was on the drums.
Highlights for me, besides hearing Brittney hit every single Mariah Carey sized note, were “The Matriarch” (Complete with crowd, fists clenched, screaming out the title); finally hearing “Awakening” live and in person as it was my introduction to the band; Brittney SLAYING those ear piercing notes in “Tonight We Ride” and the epic, 8 plus minutes, galloping “Apex” (or as I like to call it “The Trooper” on crack)
On this night Unleash The Archers made it onto my “DO NOT MISS” (*unless playing at 1720) band list. Stellar show and I look forward to catching them many times in the future.
The evening was kicked off with Seven Kingdoms. A 4-piece (twin guitars, No bass?!) Power metal band from Florida heavily influenced by the George R. R. Martin books that led to the “Game Of Thrones” show. They played a really long, but highly entertaining set. They even threw in a suped up version of Don Henley’s “Boys Of Summer” at the end which really kicked ass.
Despite a broken foot (tucked safely inside a cheeseburger slipper), Singer Sabrina Valentine was completely charming and had the crowd singing and screaming along with the band. Seven Kingdoms are rounded out by Camden Cruz (guitar) and brothers Kevin (guitars) and Keith Byrd (drums).
Special guests on this tour are Aether Realm from N. Carolina, who describe their sound as a blend of melodic death and folk metal. Well folk me… This band are fun as hell. Singer/Bassist Vincent Jones (who shook hands with and introduced himself to all the photographers as “Jake”) is a hell of a character who started by telling the crowd that the last time he was here he ended up upstairs and naked on the floor. Not sure how his evening ended, but the band put on a great show and again had the crowd singing along as they blasted through their set in support of their latest album, “Redneck Vikings From Hell“. The band also includes Heinrich Yoshio (guitar), Donny Burbage (guitar) and Tyler Gresham (drums).
A big shout out to these two bands who made the long trek from their respective spots on the East of the Country only to find out that the tour had been delayed due to UTA having trouble getting into the Country. As Brittney said, if you have the chance to see this tour, make sure to grab some merch from these two up and coming bands.
As I always say…”SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!”