Unleashed

Hammer Battalion

Written by: EW on 28/05/2008 19:45:16

Swedish Death Metal legends (perhaps used rightly so in this context?) Unleashed are so Death Metal it hurts. Not as in the fastest, most melodic nor most brutal, but as much as Paris Hilton is a pathetic anorexic peroxide-blonde excuse for a human being - that Death Metal. \"Hammer Battalion\" represents their 9th LP, and like all their previous releases you know what you\'re going to get on an Unleashed record: semi-fast groove-laden DM featuring tales of Viking mythology, anti-religious sentiment and glory to Metal, guaranteed to get your fist pumping and head nodding. To me, the only band going who are so reliably good are Bolt Thrower...

Little has changed since the Swedish DM-glory days Unleashed were an integral part of, however changes can be picked out. As one would have expected from a career of nearly two decades, improved musicianship amongst the band has borne some brilliant riffing and soloing from guitarists Tomas Masgard and Fredrik Folkare, far superior to some of the soloing of their early \'90s material, with possibly \"Carved in Stone\" and \"The Greatest of All Lies\" being the finest examples. As if to back-up the band\'s unwavering dedication to all things Metal, a hint of Black Metal-fuelled riffing can be found in the \"Black Horizon\" and \"Midsummer Solstice\" choruses, serving to create some damn catchy mid-sections in the process. Vocalist(/bassist) Johnny Hedlund sounds furiously brilliant and still uniquely recognizable in a world of guttural DM-growlers with decipherable lyrics growled from a throat-full of gravel, enabling authentic Scandinavian passion to be felt in his homage to heroes past: \"Now as I carve their names in stone/ Of those who died so far from home/ I leave you these words to bring them pride/ As time will pass their deeds will never die!\"

\"Hammer Battalion\'s\" strength comes from the fact there are no identifiable weak tracks on the record as song after song brings catchy riff after catchy riff, none vastly different from the one before but all joining to create an album greater than the sum of its parts. With a solid production, especially in the drum department, giving crisper definition compared to older albums, Unleashed have added another reason for why everyone into any form of Extreme Metal should enjoy them. In complete contrast to Origin whom I reviewed just recently, Unleashed offer an excellent access route for anyone curious about real Death Metal and \"Hammer Battalion\" serves only to back up their reputation as one of the finest in the business.

8

Download: Long Before Winter’s Call, Home of the Brave, Hammer Battalion (really all of them!)
For The Fans Of: Entombed, Dismember, Death Metal (and the curious)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 09.06.08
SPV
Provided by Target ApS

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