In The Light Of Darkness

Written by: TL on 13/04/2009 22:30:37

As our trusted expert in all things metallic and obscure, EW, is currently struggling to shoulder his heavy (metal.. lol) burden, I have been required to make an effort at stepping in and helping him out. To begin with, this has resulted in this review of Swedish metallers Unanimated and their first LP after reforming from having been dissolved since 1996.

Reputedly the band is supposed to play a brand of typical Swedish melodic death metal, but while I may be no expert on the subject, I can still detect more than enough bleak and blackened elements on this album, named "In The Light Of Darkness", to claim that it is more of a blackened death effort than a melodic one, albeit there are still melodic traces to be found in it.

In fact, to the uninitiated, Unanimated anno 2008 sound very much like what you'd expect from a cliché black metal band. Blasting drums, bleak guitars, echoing soundscapes, guttural vocals and lyrical themes about blood, slaughter, sacrifice, demons and the general destruction of all things normally considered to be 'good' in this world. Even newbies of BM will recognize that this is far from a classically oriented release from this genre though, simply because of the fact that it has some damn good production. While I'm sure this will make the purists draw pentagrams on their chests as a protective measure, I thank the Gods, both dark and light for this, because this goes a long way towards making "In The Light Of Darkness" the enjoyable album that I think it is.

The melodic side to the band is naturally to be found in the guitars, as they sometimes venture outside of BM territory to speed up and show a bit of flash and catchyness, while still never coming close to sounding friendly in any way, and in this way, the blackened feel is left intact, supported by the dominating medium pace maintained by the rhythmic section, even in the most blasting of moments. The perfect example is the stand-out title track, the guitar fills and perfectly decipherable screams of which make it easily the most memorable of the tracks on offer. However, while it has taken time for my senses to become attuned to this kind of music, I'm already starting to sense that songs like "The Unconquered One" and "Death To Life" are close behind on the path that lead to my memory.

Overall I'm liking this Unanimated record quite a bit. It is sufficiently true to it's blackened influences to feel like a real black metal album to me, but still delightfully free of it's more pretentious and unflattering characteristics, such as the refraining from proper production and charismatic guitar work. Obviously this could prove a problem for the genre traditionalists, but then I don't really think it is the job of this band to pull those people's heads out from their asses. Personally this reminds me of some of the colder moments for which I like a band like Moonspell, but I've been told by more seasoned metal-scholars that band like Entombed and Dismember are probably more worth mentioning as ones similar to Unanimated, so there you have it. In any case, I realize that my stamp of approval on a record like this is certainly worth less than EW's, but be that as it may, continued listening to "In The Light Of Darkness" have seemingly started to taint my innocent mind, and I think that should count for at least something.


Download: In The Light Of Darkness. The Unconquered One, Death To Life
For The Fans Of: Dismember, Entombed, Ceremonial Act, Moonspell
Listen: myspace.com/unanimated08

Release Date: April 2009
Regain Records

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