While we’ve recently had Brittney Slayes from Unleash the Archers over on our podcast, there’s recently no limit to the amount of love we want to shower on this band and their latest release, Abyss. The band represent one of the highest points for power metal today, blending the genre with plenty of influence from across the board. So, when I was waiting for the answers to this Anatomy Of iteration, I had a feeling they would be good. But I didn’t expect them to literally contain my favorite power metal of all time!
That would be Angra‘s Temple of Shadows, an underrated masterpiece, an album I’ve already written about in the past. The fact that it opens this list brings me untold joy and also makes a lot of sense now that I think on it; you can totally hear the influences on Unleash the Archers grandiose and varied sound. Scrolling a bit further down the list, we also find one of Iron Maiden‘s brilliant releases (“Sooooooooooo, understaaaannndd!”) and FM-84 underrated ode to the past as well as Lost Horizon‘s classic releases.
All in all, an extremely solid list from an amazing vocalist of an amazing band. Good times. Don’t forget to check out and pre-order Abyss after you’re finished with the list and then immediately listen to Temple of Shadows. It releases on August 21st. In fact, that sounds like a great idea; I’m going to do that right now.
Angra – Temple Of Shadows
This album has been a huge influence on how both Andrew and Grant play guitar, from song composition, to the inclusion of melody, to the solo stylings, and the fusion of progressive elements beyond just those of typical power metal tropes. This album also had an influence on me as a vocalist, teaching me how to push my mid-range falsettos and use them more often instead of just the usual belting techniques. As we began to embrace a more traditional power metal sound this album was definitely a big reference for riffs and drumbeats!
Best track: “Angels and Demons”
Lost Horizon – A Flame to the Ground Beneath + Awakening The World
Due to the fact that they only put out two records, and that when I listen to LH I always listen to both albums, I absolutely could not be forced to pick between the two. These two albums are once again big influences on me vocally, probably the biggest. I sang classical music for fifteen years before starting a metal band, and listening to Daniel sing on these records helped me to find my own ‘metal’ voice. Without this band, UTA would NOT sound the way we do today.
Best track: Sworn In The Metal Wind
Iced Earth – The Crucible Of Man
This is the album that inspired us to write our first concept record, and subsequently every album after has been a concept record, so you could say The Crucible has influenced the song-writing on every album since 2011. Being that our last two albums were written around a story, rather than the story being written around the music, the decision to write a concept record is not something that just happens lyrically. It is a huge part of the writing process on all fronts, and determines the emotional, musical, and overall tone of the record from beginning to end.
Best track: “Behold The Wicked Child”
Iron Maiden – Somewhere In Time
You could probably put any Iron Maiden album in here and I could tell you exactly what song influenced exactly what part of our music, but being that I couldn’t just choose the entire discography, I decided to go with Somewhere In Time. This album, in my opinion, is where IM really started to experiment with sounds outside those of traditional heavy metal. They began to embrace the long epic tracks that they had become known for, and also those repetitive but extremely catchy choruses that would have whole crowds belting along at the top of their lungs. This ‘pop sensibility’ became a large part of our sound as well, and there will probably never be a day that we put out an album that doesn’t have at least one riff inspired by these guys!
Best track: “Wasted Years”
FM-84 – Atlas
One of these things is not like the other. Yes, this is a synthwave record, but it has had a huge influence on all of us as musicians since it came out four years ago. The brightness and positivity on our newest album can definitely be attributed to these guys, and the synth too, of course ;) Every time we tour this album gets played repeatedly, it’s just one of those feel good summertime hits that never gets old!
Best track: “Running In The Night”