‘Abyss’ is the fifth full-length album from the Canadian power metal quartet Unleash The Archers. It follows the release of their covers EP, ‘Explorers’, last year and, is a concept album sequel to their 2017 album ‘Apex’. Known for their powerful melodic instrumentation and soaring vocals, this new release from Unleash The Archers does not disappoint.
‘Waking Dream’ provides a dramatic introduction to the album. The lyrical content is simple and effective; it invokes an emotional response and the repetition, along with the instrumentation, works so well. Eighties power-synths enhance the instrumentation of the title track ‘Abyss’.
Their energy packs a punch throughout the album. From intense intricate guitar leads to incredible drumming, there is a fast momentum to their music. ‘Soulbound’ is particularly powerful. The backing orchestral strings are fairly subtle in the mix but give the soundscape of the track an extra something. By playing different melodies to the other instrumentation, the strings fill out the space. Brittney’s soaring vocals in the chorus rise above the busy music to give a different dynamic to this section. Interspersing growls add extra texture to the tracks. Ending ‘Soulbound’ with a short low growl adds a humorous, dramatic element.
The melodies used throughout range from being open and uplifting to powerful and dramatic. Unleash Archers excellently compose the melodies to reflect the mood of each track. Going back to ‘Waking Dream’, this intro track revolves predominantly around one melody which is gradually developed throughout the piece. The central melody is reasonably simple, but the overall effect is extremely moving. By having this melody return in the concluding track, ‘Afterlife’, the album comes full circle. Francesco Ferrini’s orchestration provides a fairytale soundscape; it’s a beautiful ending. ‘The Wind That Shapes The Land’ opens with a soft ballad feel. The eruption into full instrumentation and with vocals fully unleashed (no pun intended) the sound is very emotive. The harsh vocals have a greater presence in this track. With the music containing a range of softer and more distorted sounds, the presence of the harsh vocals adds in an extra bit of contrast. The clean vocals from Andrew Kingsley in ‘Carry The Flame’ gives the track a twist. The presence of two vocalists works really well.
The album sees their signature melodic sound develop with experimental instrumentation and reaching out into other soundscapes. The instrumentation is incredible throughout and Brittney’s unique vocals deliver another fantastic performance. With so much going on in each track, ‘Abyss’ reveals something new with each listen.
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)
August 21, 2020
UNLEASH THE ARCHERS are:
Brittney Slayes – clean vocals
Scott Buchanan – drums
Grant Truesdell – guitar, unclean vocals
Andrew Kingsley – guitar, unclean vocals, synth
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