Less than a year after the release of their covers EP Explorers, Canadian melodic power metal quartet UNLEASH THE ARCHERS are back with a brand new 10-track masterpiece in the form of their fifth full-length album, Abyss. Lifted by the urgent, breathtaking vocals of frontwoman Brittney Slayes, on Abyss, the band re-cements themselves as an unequalled, undeniable metallic force with their strongest album to date.
Colossal, heart-stopping and heavy-as-hell while often exploring a noteworthy aura of addictive pop sensibility, Abyss further proves the indelible songwriting and technical talents of UNLEASH THE ARCHERS – not only reinforcing how high a modern band can soar within the atmosphere of power metal, but introducing an unbridled array of diverse sonic elements into the fold. Poised to make its mark amid a new generation of epic metal concept albums, listeners will be itching to hit replay within seconds of its satisfying end.
Check out a new teaser of the album’s title track “Abyss” HERE, and stay tuned for more new music and videos coming very soon!
Abyss is set for release via Napalm Records on August 21, 2020, and beginning today, is available for pre-order in CD format, as well as 2LP gatefold vinyl format in original black, limited editionred/yellow swirl (limited to 300 copies), and limited edition yellow (limited to 100 copies). A limited edition Deluxe Earbook format is also available – the only edition including instrumental versions of each track and bonus alternate single versions (also featured in a standalone 7” only available with the Earbook format) The album will be available to pre-order digitally in mid-June.
Beginning with a dreamlike acoustic introduction accented by the smoky beckonings of singer Brittney Slayes, opener “Waking Dream” quickly punches into a colossal wall of sound, setting the stage for the auditory escape that is Abyss. Powerful anthems such as the immense power metal-encapsulated title track “Abyss” and metallic pop-tinged earworm “Through Stars” conjure classic elements while maintaining an entirely fresh, forward-thinking approach. Guitarists Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdell turn heads with wicked work on stellar tracks such as “Legacy” (fans of artists like Devin Townsend and Astronoid, take note), while Slayes showcases her incredible vocal diversity and range on mighty epics like “Return To Me” and “The Wind That Shapes The Land”. Drummer Scott Buchanan makes technical strides on burners “Soulbound” and “Faster Than Light” – setting breakneck twists and turns ablaze with his bandmates. UNLEASH THE ARCHERS rounds the edge of Abyss with throwback-hued “Carry The Flame”, and wraps up with the soaring, rewarding concept closer “Afterlife”.
Thematically, Abyss is the direct sequel to the band’s 2017 album Apex. Frontwoman Brittney Slayes explains about the concept:
“Our protagonist, The Immortal, is once again awakened at the beginning of our story, but this time he is in an unknown place: a ship out in deep space. He wanders alone for a time, reflecting on his misdeeds, searching for his new master. Finally, he finds him, and learns that it is the Grandson of The Matriarch, our antagonist. The Immortal had taken The Grandson’s father away some sixty years before, to be sacrificed by The Matriarch in a ritual to achieve immortality (the events from Apex) and now the Grandson seeks revenge against The Matriarch with the aid of her own weapon, The Immortal.
This album is a classic take on good versus evil, light versus dark, The Grandson versus The Matriarch, but it also uses the ‘person versus self’ literary device in that The Immortal is battling with the good and evil within himself, and must decide in the end if he is simply a tool for others to use, or a man with free will and the ability to choose his own path; a struggle I think every human can relate to.”
Abyss was once again engineered, mixed and mastered by Jacob Hansen of Hansen Studios in Denmark (Volbeat, Delain, Amaranthe), with production by guitarist Andrew Kingsley. Additionally, transcendent closer track “Afterlife” features orchestration contributions from Francesco Ferrini of Italian symphonic death metal machine Fleshgod Apocalypse. Fans will notice that, unlike on Apex, Abyss incorporates a weighty dose of synth in the mix, and for the first time ever, all tracks were written on seven strings – adding to the massive expanse of the album’s sound as it explores the celestial realm.
As mentioned, the Deluxe Earbook edition of Abyss features two bonus tracks – synthwave and gothic folk-pop versions of “Abyss” and “Soulbound”, respectively. This is something UNLEASH THE ARCHERS has never done before, turning their singles into something completely different!
Brittney Slayes adds:
“I hope you enjoy our alternate interpretations of “Abyss” and “Soulbound”, because they honestly show a side of us as musicians that we probably wouldn’t be able to showcase otherwise. We all listen to a lot of different genres of music, but these two bonus tracks give huge insight into the music we were listening to as we recorded Abyss… not just metal, but synthwave, pop, and even a bit of country!”
1) Waking Dream
3) Through Stars
5) Return To Me
7) Faster Than Light
8) The Wind That Shapes The Land
9) Carry The Flame (feat. guitarist Andrew Kingsley on guest vocals)
10) Afterlife (feat. orchestration by Francesco Ferrini)
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS is:
Brittney Slayes – Vocals
Scott Buchanan – Drums
Grant Truesdell – Guitar, Vocals
Andrew Kingsley – Guitar, Vocals, Synth