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Hades Archer- Temple of the Impure

Five years have passed since Chilean black/death metal band Hades Archer released their mini-album ‘The Curse Over Mankind’, but that doesn’t mean they’ve stood idly by.  In the time between that release and this year’s ‘Temple of the Impure’ full length, original drummer Hateaxes Command rejoined and the group focused on EP’s, demos, and splits.  The core of the material has retained the type of grimy, bestial black/death metal that Hades Archer has been writing since the very beginning, but the production values are much fuller and give a sense of clarity without taking away from the intensity.  ‘Temple of the Impure’ may not deviate that drastically from what the band has offered before or even from the overall South American take on this style, but it has a good deal of depth beyond mere blasting that allows it to stand out.

Hades Archer strikes a great balance between warlike blasting where the tonality blurs the lines between black/death metal and slower riffing where the filth and grime fully seep in

Any time the words “polished” or “clear” are used in reference to black/death metal it can be a cause for concern, but fear not as Hades Archer still sounds as violent and grimy as one could possibly want.  What the band has done this time around is to create a recording that ups the volume and attacks the listener with even more dense layers than before while also providing a bit more separation between the instrumentals than before.  This makes it easier for the intense guitar riffs and rumbling bass lines to catch your attention, and when you take into account how often the tempo changes on ‘Temple of the Impure’ it also makes it fairly easy to distinguish one song from the next.  Hades Archer strikes a great balance between warlike blasting where the tonality blurs the lines between black/death metal and slower riffing where the filth and grime fully seep in.  The prominent bass lines really stand out during the slower moments, and give off an almost hypnotic feel that lulls you into a calmer state before the band launches right back into blasting insanity.  It’s certainly a familiar sound, and the instrumentals do fall into some patterns over the course of the album.  But there’s a bit more depth than is sometimes typical for this genre, particularly with how Hades Archer melds the violent fast paced moments with a slower, almost ritualistic approach, and that’s what’s kept this album on repeat for quite some time now.

Hades Archer

Nabucodonosor III handles all of the vocal work on ‘Temple of the Impure’, and he’s able to move between high and low ranges that are as gritty and in your face as possible.  Some of the lower ranges sound genuinely inhuman, allowing Hades Archer to maintain a truly hellish feel for much of the album.  This is one area that a lot of South American black/death metal has exceled at, as the intensity levels coming from their vocalists are hard to match and the performance on this album is another perfect example.  With the additional clarity of this recording the vocals come through with even more force than before, allowing the varied pitches to become even more noticeable and tear through your eardrums like a jagged blade.

Hades Archer’s latest still runs into a bit of repetition towards the end of the album, but they’ve still managed to deliver a strong effort that modernizes their production values without losing any of the bite.  Compared to the numerous other groups out there that blast away and ultimately sound the same, these guys showcase some versatility on ‘Temple of the Impure’ and have the substance and grime to keep listeners coming back.  There has been plenty of noteworthy Chilean metal so far this year, and Hades Archer deserves to be among them.

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Chris Dahlberg Owner of, avid metal head, video game, and anime fan. The noisier and harsher the metal is, the more I like it!