Okay, here we go. UNLEASH THE ARCHERS return with newest album Abyss, out now on Napalm Records, and fuck me running, it rules hard. I really loved last effort Apex, but believe it or not this record buries its predecessor. Everything is in perfect sync, and it’s like the stars aligned to make sure this one would be fantastic. If you weren’t already getting the sense that this is going to be a very gushing review then you don’t know me at all. Singer Brittney Slayes reaches new heights with each and every track, and the band behind her is locked and loaded, ready to fire when the word is given. Quite frankly, this disc is the most complete and cohesive work this band has ever produced…period.
When it comes to the songs themselves, I guarantee you that never once will you get bored or feel that a certain track is filler, no siree. Each and every one is very engaging while also managing to be a potent combo of catchy and headbangingly heavy. Hell, this is the blueprint all Power Metal bands should be following, since some of them really tend to put out crap year after year. That said, “Legacy” is without a doubt one of the best tracks released in 2020. Not only is it my favorite on the record, but it is also on my Songs of the Year list. If you don’t repeat this one six or seven times before moving on you need your head examined. “Return to Me” immediately follows and the group is honed in with a laser focus.
Elsewhere on the album title track “Abyss”, asskicker “Soulbound”, and mid-tempo “Through Stars” are proof positive of just how goddamn good UNLEASH THE ARCHERS are as a unit. They just had to know how special this music was as they were creating it. On the epic front, we get a pair of them in “The Wind That Shapes the Land,” clocking in at 8:36 and closer “Afterlife” which is a meaty 7:30 in length. I’ve said before just how great UTA are at telling a story, a sonic tapestry if you will, and both of these songs totally live up to that billing. “Carry the Flame” is arguably the catchiest track on the LP aside from “Legacy” and I guarantee you will love it as much as I do.
Hey man, it’s like this…UNLEASH THE ARCHERS have given us one of 2020’s best records with Abyss. The power, melody, hook, and punch are all undeniable. If you’re reading this right now I guaran-damn-tee you feel the same way I do. I already loved the band hard, but with this release that love has only grown tenfold. Pick up your copy of Abyss wherever you buy your music, turn the volume up, and rock the fuck out. That’s an order!!
STANDOUT TRACKS: ALL OF THEM