by Ana Krunic
VANCOUVER – Originally hailing from Victoria, BC, Unleash the Archers have been laying down their heavy power-metal sound since 2007. With three acclaimed full-length albums already under their belt, the upcoming Apex stands to build on that tradition with a focused concept. “We wanted this album to feel the same from beginning to end, across the usual spectrum of genres we like to incorporate, but ultimately with the same feel that colours the whole album,” says Brittney Slayes, vocalist and founding member.
A concept album, Apex tells a story from the perspective of the Immortal, a character who is cursed with an eternal life in which he cycles through thousand-year periods of stasis until someone beckons him to do their bidding. In this case, he is awakened by the Matriarch, a woman who implores him to hunt down her four sons and return them to her so she may perform a ritual sacrifice and achieve immortality.
The first single off the new album, “Cleanse the Bloodlines,” is the only song told from the perspective of the Matriarch and tells of the first meeting between herself and the Immortal. The accompanying music video shows the Immortal capturing the first of her sons for sacrifice. While Unleash the Archers are no strangers to this kind of conceptual songwriting, this is the clearest vision they’ve had about an album.
“On our previous album Time Stands Still, we didn’t want a random collection of songs, but it kind of became that,” Slayes explains. “[For Apex] I wrote out the story in chapters. There were just certain riffs that [guitarists Andrew Kingsley and Grant Truesdell] would come to the jam space with and I would go, ‘That’s definitely THIS part of the story.’ They also came up with material based on what I had written. We all write together, so why not have this path to follow in that process?”
Apex will be released internationally on June 2, much anticipated by both their fans and the band itself. “Of course you always think that your newest material is the best, so there’s a bias there, but I’m super excited with how the record turned out.”
Unleash the Archers plays at the Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver June 2, Lucky Bar in Victoria June 9, and The Cambie in Nanaimo June 10.Lucky Bar, Rickshaw Theatre, Unleash the Archers