Canadian melodic power metal quartet UNLEASH THE ARCHERS recently announced the upcoming release of their masterful fifth full-length concept album “Abyss” out August 21, 2020 via Napalm Records. With “Abyss”, the band re-cements themselves as an unequaled, undeniable metallic force with their strongest album to date.
Today, as a follow-up to the otherworldly first single and video “Abyss”, UNLEASH THE ARCHERS have unveiled another blazing new single, “Soulbound”, alongside a cinematic, high-concept music video. Powered by Brittney Slayes‘ powerful mezzo-soprano, the virtuosic guitar stylings of Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdell, and the thunderous drumming of Scott Buchanan, “Soulbound” pulls the listener into a melodic, lightning-fast journey. Its massive chorus and skyrocketing symphonic will echo in your ears for days to come. Watch the video below.
Front-woman Brittney Slayes says about “Soulbound” and the music video concept: “This song is what we call a ‘quick-banger’ in the UTA camp. It’s short, fast, catchy, and never lets up. We always have one of these on every record; the kind of song that makes you want to turn the dial up to 11, maybe drive a little faster, perhaps even stand up and headbang by yourself in the middle of the room. This track re-introduces the four sons of The Matriarch as enslaved, unstoppable, half-dead beings that won’t give up until The Immortal is destroyed, and we feel like it can stand on its own while not giving too many of the album’s secrets away… Get out your air-guitars ’cause this one is blistering!”
“The video was shot by Runegate Studios in Victoria BC, Canada and uses two very different environments to differentiate between the world of the living, and the world of the ‘Soulbound’. The bright, white, indoor scenes portray a reality much like our own, while the dark, rain-soaked, outdoor scenes take the viewer to a visually stunning reality that will give you goosebumps and make your skin crawl! In this dismal place, The Matriarch has complete control over the Soulbound, and she can compel them there whenever she desires, no matter how hard they may resist.”
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.
Pre-order “Abyss” in available formats at this location.
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 ear-worm “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”. Front-woman 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 – synth-wave 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 synth-wave, pop, and even a bit of country!”
- Waking Dream
- Through Stars
- Return to Me
- Faster Than Light
- The Wind That Shapes the Land
- Carry The Flame (Feat. guitarist Andrew Kingsley on guest vocals)
- 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