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Unleash the Archers - Apex

Label: Napalm Records
Format: mp3 download
Released: 2017
Reviewed By: Jack Mangan
Rating: 9/10

Simply excellent.
Unleash the Archers proved that you can have an imperative sentence as your band name, and still maintain your credibility.
While that is a unique and cool band name, that's not the topic at hand. The point is, on their fourth album, 2017's 'Apex,' Unleash the Archers prove that you can play by the rules and still create something extraordinary.


They seem perfectly comfortable adhering to contemporary Power Metal sound and song construction templates. Powerful, soaring, female lead vocals: check. Double-bass/alternate picking driven tempos: check. Fast, Iron Maiden-esque twin guitar harmonies: check. Debt owed to PM-godfathers Helloween, plus a passing resemblance to Dream Theater and Queensryche: yep. Songs with cool intros, bridged to the primary riff by a powerful vocal bellow: check.
With nary an unorthodox note, scale, or structure in sight, UtA just deliver excellent song after excellent song. Each song is a tightly-structured, tightly-plotted story; the entire album is overloaded with catchy, memorable parts, delivered with flair and fire by lead vocalist, Brittany Slayes. The song "False Walls" is especially impressive for the way it starts off with decent-but-forgettable verse and chorus, but closes out with a final chapter that's sure to transfix the listener. Some of the other album highlights are "Ten Thousand Against One" and the scorching opening track: "Awakening."
As of June, "Apex" is neck-and-neck with Seven Kingdoms' "Decennium" for Best Power Metal original release of 2017, and in the conversation for Best Metal Album overall.


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