A band that I have known by name for years but I had never taken time to listen to their music, episode 327. Okay, I had seen some video clips a long time ago but I didn’t really like them so I didn’t give much attention. And the time came for the Canadian band to change my mind with their fifth full-length album “Abyss”.
In this album there is an evolution that started from “Apex” of 2017, at least from what I read and from a few songs that I’ve listened. It looks like this from the covers which are not like the completely generic of the first releases. The band is based on power metal, a genre that for many years is too stagnant, repetitive and indifferent. Even for many of its fans.
Fortunately, Unleash The Archers happily take it a step further as they broaden their horizons. “Abyss” is almost an hour long but its ten tracks easily keep you interested and I think it is recommended for fans of the metal sound in general and not only power.
“Waking Dream” functions as an introduction before the self-titled “Abyss”, a classic power metal song in its structure but its awesome riffs, synths in the background and epic/atmospheric parts make it really enjoyable. “Through Stars” on the other hand has a rock structure with cleverly placed electronic samples that will take you back in the 80s. Next surprise is “Legacy”, a song that begins with an interesting atmospheric post-black metal (!) approach.
“Return To Me”, “Soulbound” and “The Wind That Shapes The Land” have melodic/epic death metal influences with some extreme vocals. There is of course the classic power metal style with keyboards in “Faster Than Light”. Just before the end, “Carry The Flame” is a wonderful mid-tempo melodic heavy metal song. The closing with “Afterlife” continues the variety of sounds and influences with its epic, symphonic and death elements.
As for the collectors/fans, in the limited edition of the double CD they will find “Abyss” in an instrumental synthwave version (entitled “Abysswave”), “Soulbound” in an acoustic goth/folk version (entitled “Soulcoustic”) as well as the whole album in instrumental form. Another proof of how they aren’t one-dimensional, as they experiment with their own songs.
Before I close, I have to mention the amazing Brittney Slayes who has a tremendous performance on vocals and of course the overall sound that has the signature of Jacob Hansen. “Abyss” is a great heavy metal album. Those of you who were unaware of this band until now, it’s time to give them a try. They deserve it.