August 18, 2020 Unleash The Archers – Abyss (Album Review)
Out of the Great White North, the Power Metal quartet known as Unleash The Archers formed in Victoria, British Columbia way back in 2007. Lead by the awe inspiring four octave mezzo-soprano of Vocalist Brittney Slayes, Unleash The Archers put together a well oiled mix of Power Metal, Melodic Death Metal, and traditional Heavy Metal in which the final product often becomes a great story telling piece of music.
As the journey began, the first two albums by Unleash The Archers, 2009’s Behold the Devastation and 2011’s Demons of the AstroWaste, were both released independently. Then, 2015 saw Unleash The Archers sign to Napalm Records and later that year released their third studio LP, Time Stands Still. In 2017, Unleash The Archers would release their next album, Apex, which peaked at No. 28 on the U.S. Billboard Independent Albums Chart. Lastly, Unleash The Archers released the EP, Explorers, in October of 2019.
Continuing the conceptual tale told by 2017’s Apex, Unleash The Archers are pleased to announce the release of their fifth studio album, Abyss, on Friday, August 21, 2020 thanks to Napalm Records. Furthermore, Abyss marks the second straight Unleash The Archers album produced by Denmark based Producer Jacob Hansen who has most notably worked with Kamelot, Primal Fear, Pretty Maids, and Powerwolf. A tight unit, Slayes is joined by fellow founding member Scott Buchanan on Drums alongside Guitarists Grant Truesdell and Andrew Kingsley, both also perform Unclean Vocals. At this time, bass guitar is handled in studio as Unleash The Archers does not have a permanent bassist.
Taking it in for the first time, Abyss starts off via the subtlety of “Waking Dream” before the title track of “Abyss” begins the path to something bigger with a rising intro of drums, synth, and guitar. The right start, the anthemic chants really work to kick this track into high gear. Almost ballad like, “Through Stars” is emotionally compelling in melody and vocal delivery. Next on tap, “Legacy” is softly aggressive with highly effective guitar pieces that can light up a room. Following the exhilarating nature of “Return To Me,” the single “Soulbound” delivers an explosion of bright Power Metal before the ferocious number “Faster Than Light.” Bringing this voyage into deeper waters, “The Wind That Shapes The Land” in name alone tells any listener they are in for an epically long track. Thereafter, “Carry The Flame” is incredibly stimulating with touches of 1980’s emotion and then “Afterlife” is a noteworthy album closer.
A magnetic force of power and energy from start to finish, Abyss may be the most well done album to date by Unleash The Archers. Most notably, tracks like “Soulbound,” “Through Stars,” and “Legacy” are stand outs which showcase how talented and intelligent the four members of Unleash The Archers can be when it comes to blending all of the elements of Power Metal, Melodic Death Metal, and Heavy Metal into one powerful piece of music. As an up-and-coming act, Unleash The Archers need to be on the radars of more Metal fans and Abyss will likely do the job. Worth checking out, Cryptic Rock awards Abyss 4 out of 5 stars.