Unleash the Archers – Apex
Written By: Noam Asulin
Release Date - 2.6.2017
Label - Naplam Records
I got to know "Unleash the Archers" at the end of 2017, just a few months after the release of their fourth album "Apex". Before reviewing this great album, let's get to know the band a little.
Coming from Vancouver, Canada, "Unleash the Archers" plays power metal and includes Brittney Slayes (vocals), Scott Buchanan (drums), and Grant Truesdell (guitars and unclean vocals), Andrew Kingsley (guitars), Nick Miller (bass). The band was formed in 2007 and so far has released five albums.
"Apex" is the band's fourth album and is a turning point in their career, as this album has won a good production compared to the band's previous albums, mainly thanks to the band moving up to a well-known record company.
This is a concept album that tells the story of an immortal man, 1000 years old. He was cursed to obey the instructions of whoever woke him up. In the opening track ("Awakening") a character named "The Matriarch" wakes him up and demands that he find and bring her four sons to life. She plans to sacrifice her sons to an entity greater than herself, in order to have an immortal life of her own. She also promises the immortal to set him free in case he brings her sons in time. This whole part of the story is told in the first four songs. In the next four songs the immortal search and finds the sons of "The Matriarch". In the fifth track "The Coward's Way" finds her political son, in "Falls Walls" he finds the cult leader, and another in the song "10,000 Against One". All three are quite despicable so the immortal does not show any caring towards them. The fourth son ("Earth and Ashes") is a kind-hearted man who wants to live with his family and he befriends the immortal, but when the time comes to return him to his mother, the immortal does not spare him either. In the ninth track "Call Me Immortal" "The Matriarch" gets what she wants, but does not keep her promise and instructs the immortal man to go back to sleep, until someone needs him again. In the last track, he goes back to sleep on the mountain "Apex" from which he came from.
Interestingly, the Japanese version of the album includes a live cover of the song "Queen of the Reich" by "Queensrÿche".
Most of the songs on this album, are very melodic and with distinct speed and power metal characteristics. Although this is an hour-long album, with long songs that reach even 8 minutes, it is a sheer pleasure to listen to from start to finish. In my opinion, the solos are amazing. I consider this album to be one of the best power metal albums of all time. This album shows off everything Britney has to offer. She sings so well that there are times when you don't believe these voices are coming from her mouth. The production is polished and proves that it can upgrade the album on several levels.