The epic, sprawling world of Unleash the Archers’ new album Abyss is part of what makes the ripping power metal thereon so exciting. The band aren’t just writing an album around a concept, they’re actually seeing the epic space opera that vocalist Brittney Slayes wrote out ahead of time as it unfolds before their eyes. Something worth noting is that the ultra-powerful galactic villain of the story is The Matriarch — an interesting choice, given that Brittney herself is a powerful woman leading a destructive force of her own. But according to the singer, the character wasn’t directly based off of her — though there are certain similarities.
“I knew I wanted to have a female villain, because there’s nothing scarier than a woman lusting after power,” said Brittney in conversation with The Pit. “You don’t want to get in their way. They can be pretty formidable at times. So that’s really where that came from — I just felt like I could write more truthfully from the point of view of a female villain more than a male villain. And there are many out there who are totally awesome, rad bad guys. But there are only few that I’ve really been like, ‘Oh yeah, I’d be scared of them.’ And most of the time when I do see that in films, video games, comic books whatever, the ones I find most believable tend to be women. So it could be from personal experience in that sense, but I don’t feel like there’s any of me in her, other than that drive to just have everything perfect. She wants it all to be perfect — so, could be a little bit of me in there.”
This begs the question: is there a female villain in film or literature that Brittney finds most compelling?
“Bavmorda from [1988’s] Willow, for sure,” she says. “She’s the best — and the worst, but the best! She’s got one goal in mind, and it’s to destroy this child or prophecy that’s going to destroy her, and she’s solely focused on this one thing.”
Unleash the Archers’ Abyss is out now on Napalm Records.
Words by Chris Krovatin