Chilean deathmetal duo Hades Archer is mounting their latest sonic assault in the form of Temple of the Impure, hailed as the band’s cleanest produced album to date while maintaining that grungy hedonistic brutal style they call their own. Do the boasts hold true? Well let’s just see about that, yeah? Let’s dive right on in boys and ghouls.

For starters let’s just get the boast part over with – it’s not true or at least if it is then they have a way to go to get the sound quality the album needs. The vocals are pretty garbled more often than not which takes away from their intensity. The drums stand out and not in a good way; like they were recorded during a garage session and the rest of the amps couldn’t hold their own. I put these two facts out front and center because they are pretty much impossible to ignore, which is a bummer. On multiple listens you can piece together what they were actually going for and the biggest bummer is some powerhouse riffing on both the bass and guitar getting drowned out way too often. One glaring example is the bass lines throughout “The Gods Sold This World For Destruction”. From what does come through is a slick yet bold thump slashing throughout the song but it’s so muddled down most probably won’t notice. There are some saving graces like “Great Moon Tide” in which the vocals are actually quite clear and the sweet bass lines keep kicking throughout. The same can be said for the clarity of the guitar and bass tracks in “Hecate Undressed” – way better produced and you can actually enjoy them putting in that good shit without having to block out anything else. The stand moment of that track is how sick the guitar rages on the outro, just straight up badass shredding that almost makes you forget the glaring errors in recording with some of the other tracks. A great example of both sides of the quality coin is “Temple of the Impure”. The intro? Shit is pristine, ready to slaughter but yet clear as glass like Crystal Lake in a Jason movie. Then something just happens and when the vocals kick in the drums go to shit and the vocals are more muffled than Christian Bale’s Batman. “But Kaizer,” you say, “those vocals are distorted so that makes sense right?!?!” to which I say hell nah, it’s a solid given that death metal/black metal and the like aren’t known for their immaculate pronunciation but this is something else altogether, like trying to mumble rap through a blown speaker.

The real tragedy of it all is this band has talent clearly and the songs that aren’t a “sonic sloppy joe” show that in spades, and given that this album doesn’t drop til October 13th there’s still plenty of time to do something about these glaring flaws. Usually I would probably cut a bit more slack if this was a debut album or just an EP but for a sophomoric release from a band that’s been around since 2006, one expects a little bit more. Not to mention the fact that 2017 is a year bursting with lit albums, demos and debuts included, so one has to step up their game if they’re gonna run at the head of the pack.

1.Intro (Ikkibu Ardu)
2.Chaos Teratosis Chimeras
3.The Gods Sold This World For Destruction
4.Circus of Abominations
5.Sex Sex Sex Perversions
6.Great Moon Tide
7.Hecate Undressed
8.Unus Cantus Bestiae
9.Temple of the Impure
10.Apollyon’s Brightness
11.The World Inheritance
12.Outro (Homodeus Abortunction)

Nabucodonosor III-Vocals, Bass, Guitars
Skullcrusher Hammers -Drums

Rating: 2.5 outta 5 axes

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Written by Ken Kaiser for Bloodrock Media on September 8, 2017