Written by Ana Krunic
VANCOUVER'S PREMIER POWER-METAL ACT DISCUSSES RISING POPULARITY AFTER 'APEX' AND UPCOMING ALBUM
In the climate of today’s music industry, seeing a band based in your hometown begin to achieve recognition on the world stage is gratifying as hell. Especially when it’s a band that’s been working as hard at it over the past decade as Vancouver’s own Unleash the Archers, balancing touring with day jobs and families, and maintaining a solid writing and recording cycle.
Their gradual forward motion has sped up since the release of their 2015 album, Time Stands Still, which saw them sign on with Napalm Records. 2017’s Apex which made it onto Billboard charts. Having toured all over the US, Europe, China and the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise, they’ve become one of Canada’s best-known power metal bands.
Now, the band are set to release their highly anticipated follow-up, Abyss, on August 21.
“The second that Apex was done I was like, ‘Ok, what’s next?’” says vocalist Brittney Slayes. “Send me some riffs, let’s do this!’”
With fans of heavy music being pretty accustomed to bands taking their sweet time between releases, the three years since Apex seems like a quick turnaround.
“It’s funny that so many people have been messaging us saying, ‘We just discovered you guys, love Apex so much, I can’t believe another record is coming out so soon!’” she recalls. “For us, it’s been ages. We are totally ready to play some new music. That’s a good thing though, for it to be that way in the mind of the fans. So we’re not pulling a Wintersun on anybody.”
Thematically, Abyss is a direct conceptual follow up from the story of Apex, about the Immortal, a being cursed to serve the nefarious Matriarch and fulfill her wishes before he can rest again.
“Each song will tell it’s own chapter of the story and it’s gonna wrap it all up,” says Slayes. “We left Apex on a bit of a cliffhanger knowing that we were going to continue the story with this record. It’s a little bit more ‘out there’, the immortal gets stolen and taken out into space. So where Apex was grounded and very earthly, the new album is very ethereal and spacey.”