Apex explained track-by-track! [UPDATED] @UnleashArchers @NapalmRecords

Recently I highlighted the excellence of Apex, the new heavy metal concept album from Unleash the Archers, and I supplied you with some links for reading about it.

For a detailed track-by-track explanation, here’s the band’s amazing vocalist, Brittney Slayes, taking you through the story.

How great is it that in the age of YouTube we get video supplements as liner notes?! Wow… enjoy… and remember to follow me to Apex

Unleash the Archers delivers superb concept album Apex @UnleashArchers @BrittneyPotPie


The new album from Unleash the Archers, Apex, is truly impressive. But you already know that if you have read my review or listened to it for yourself.

Yet what I left out of my review was an explanation of the concept album’s full story extending from the first track to the last track. In that regard, the excellent review over at Angry Metal Guy is the best thing you can read, because it nicely details how the storyline unfolds and is perfectly realized in the music (which fits it like a glove).

If you’re a progger who needs an entry point through one song, try downloading just “False Walls” and listen to it again and again until you are hooked. I guarantee that you will find the excellence of the musicianship to be truly stunning.

Well, the whole album is that good. And the integrity of the epic storyline will have you thinking that this just might be the prog album of the year, because the whole album is in effect one gigantic epic song that deals in mythical archetypes. It’s so good that as you listen to it you can imagine it being realized cinematically as a full-length movie.

Follow me to Apex!

Unleash the Archers at the absolute Apex of today’s metal @UnleashArchers @BrittneyPotPie


Apex is the unbelievably impressive new album from Unleash the Archers. It starts triumphantly with an epic seven-minute-plus track, “Awakening,” a heroic kick-in-the-doors and burn-down-the-house entrance that lets you know in no uncertain terms that there’ll be no nonsense on this disc, only a whole lot of awesome. It sets the right tone from the get-go, with awesome riffing over galloping verses and righteously headbanging choruses.

The second track, “Shadow Guide,” has a brisk old-school metal feel to it, as vocalist Brittney Slayes again takes no prisoners. And then the third track, “The Matriarch,” continues with the unusually high standard of metal excellence established by the two opening tracks. At this point, you wonder how long this album can keep up such a high level of rip-roaring metal.


With “Cleanse the Bloodlines,” things are still pretty excellent, but the dopey video previously released for the track has tainted the tune for me. Also, it has a creepily fascist track title. Yet it is undeniable that Brittney is positively thrilling with her vocals beginning right at the three-minute mark and with the excellent tension woven by the guitar riffage. Oh well, it’s a concept album, with a character speaking, not a statement from the band, so resistance is futile.

The next five tracks are all superb: “The Cowards’ Way” chugs along thanks to some magnificently mighty bass propulsion power. “False Walls” kills it with blistering riffs knitting together a more laid-back approach, as head-banging choruses alternate with head-nodding verses. We are treated to a most satisfying guitar solo that slips in coolly after about six minutes of preparation. “Ten Thousand Against One” pummels you with bad-cop kick-drumming and death growls, and good-cop ethereal vocals. “Earth and Ashes” mercifully lets you catch your breath for a minute as acoustic guitars do some dueling with the bass guitar, but just when you’ve been faked out, the track gets the album to rip back into you again with relentless fury. Later on, a surprise vocal duet suddenly steers us into a really sweet guitar solo break that circles the earth for a while and then blasts off into hyperspace. Whew! Next up, “Call Me Immortal” does right by any listener who seeks metal excellence. This is such a great track, I can’t believe they saved it and placed it in penultimate position on the album. How cool is that. It just might be my favorite song, next to the album opener and closer. Excellence is always immortal, and here it is too in spades.

When the album concludes with the amazingly sprawling and superbly-paced guitar-feast “Apex” (track 10), there is no escaping the conclusion that this is the very best effort to date from Unleash the Archers. They have established themselves as a truly standout metal act. Brittney slays the competition and her band mates have honed their musical skills to an apex of metal perfection. Permit me to give the apposite last word to Brittney and the band by quoting their truly thrilling grand finale of a last track: “Follow me… to Apex!”

Progarchist rating: ★★★★★ 10/10 A+

Unleash the Archers, Apex

Unleash the Archers: “The Matriarch” Video @UnleashArchers

Click through to BraveWords to watch the exclusive (currently unlisted) lyric video for the awesome new track “The Matriarch” from Apex, the forthcoming album from Unleash the Archers. Not only is this track pure metal excellence, it is a harbinger of the epic feel of the whole concept album. Here are some details:

It has now been 10 years of Unleash The Archers. These heavy metal heroes are celebrating this honour with an exhilarating feast on their upcoming album, Apex, out on June 2nd via Napalm Records.

The band states: “We are extremely excited to release another full on concept album; it’s just so much fun to play out a story when you’re up on stage. This one has a protagonist that we call ‘The Immortal’ being forced to serve the antagonist, a.k.a. ‘The Matriarch’ as she embarks down a very dark path to achieve immortality. We had a great time writing this record, and I think the cohesiveness of the story has really shone through in the music as well. It has a certain vibe throughout, from beginning to end, and we can’t wait to hear what our fans have to say about the direction this album has taken. We don’t like to write the same record over and over again and we are very happy with the progression of our sound on Apex. We think it will appeal to all of our fans old and new; it has the best parts of our past albums combined into one with just a little more spit and polish.”

Metal Mondays: Unleash the Archers delivers another concept album @UnleashArchers

The Georgia Straight has a great article on Unleash the Archers. In it, we discover that Time Stands Still is indeed a concept album:

… Brittney Hayes—aka Brittney Slayes, the vocalist and lyricist for the band—joins us at a Granville Street coffee shop to explain it to us.

“It’s about, basically, the struggles of being an independent band in Canada,” she says. Hayes is pleasantly nerdy and bespectacled off-stage, seeming more like a history geek—which she is—than a charismatic metal frontwoman. “It was all written before we were signed [by Austrian label Napalm Records]. Each song is about a different obstacle you have to overcome as an independent band.

“‘Frozen Steel’ is about metalheads in Canada, and how passionate they are, and how they would brave a winter storm to go to a show because they love metal so much.”

It’s a good bet, now that we’ve been given the magic decoder ring, that “Tonight We Ride”—which spawned a Mad Max–themed video, filmed in the Nevada desert using props from the Death Guild Thunderdome camp at Burning Man—is about facing up to the challenges of touring.

And the anthemic high point, “Test Your Metal”? “It’s about hometown heroes, really—about these bands that are so good but they just won’t tour or do anything. It’s like, ‘Get out there! Show them what you can do! You’re frickin’ talented, you’re incredible, why are you sitting at home playing to the same people every night?’ ” …