Unleashed
Midvinterblot


4.0
excellent

Review

by Dethtrasher USER (232 Reviews)
February 28th, 2007 | 31 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A heavy death-metal album, old stuff but it still sounds refreshing. This album eould suit both old-school and modern death-metal fans.

Hail Odin! Drink to victory!
Hail Thor! Drink to remember our dead!
Hail Frey! Drink to prosperity!

If I want to read or study about gods and such I will rather read about the heathen Nordic mythology rather than believes of Christ and God. Everything is far more interesting, we have the thunder god Thor with his hammer, Odin was the leader of all the other gods and he was also a god of wisdom while Frey was the god of fertilization and was perhaps not one of the most popular gods. So why do I mention these ancient gods that the Vikings once believed in" I have found a death metal band from Sweden that is somewhat unusual if you compare them to other Swedish death metal bands. You see, Unleashed is claimed to be one of very few bands to use lyrics based on Viking history/myths and Scandinavian heritage. Unleashed was formed in 1989 and they are still active even today, which makes them to metal veterans alongside Dismember for example. Unleashed might not be one of the most popular bands in the Swedish death metal legions, their style of death metal is pretty straight forward, not so highly intense, the song material has a groovy structure once in a while but it still has its brutal and heavy moments that’s for sure.

Midvinterblot or ‘’Midwinter Sacrifice’’ as it is called in English is the name of the band’s newest album. It was released in 2006 and is packed with 15 death metal songs with lyrics inspired by ancient history. The overall variety of the song material is great to begin with, here with have some fast shredding tracks like This Is Our World Now and I Have Sworn Allegiance. We have some really heavy sledgehammer tracks like Midvinterblot and Age Of The Warrior. The rest of the songs are a mix of everything, most of them are mid-paced with fast riffing and several of different drum patterns.

Unleashed is also one band that has been using the original band members for a long period of time because there are very few who has been replaced. Only two guitarists have left the band since the band started their metal journey. We have Johnny Hedlund as vocalist and bassist. I would describe his vocals as roars instead of growls, I think I have never encountered a band with this kind of vocals. Johnny’s vocals has a quite distinctive sound in his roars which is powerful and fits the lyrics and music very well. As many death metal bands the bass is hardly noticed or audible, I could still say that without a bass this music would’ve sounded very flat, the bass still provides a good sound to back up the guitars. Fredrik Folkare and Thomas Olsson puts up a good fight with their guitars, death metal riffing is definitely heard in the album material. Tremolo riffs are played time to time; some fast shredding patterns are heard, I would also say that there are some small thrash influences in some of the riffs. Either way the guitar work is great, it has a quite raw but thick and strong sound. Perhaps nothing new in terms of technical finger work but this performance holds up very good, it would suit both modern death fans and old-school people. Anders Schultz is the drummer which also puts a good effort on his instrument. Here you have many different kinds of drum patterns; even if most of them might seem as simplistic they still work very well. Double bass kicking, slow hammer hitting beats, mid-paced action and other similar drum patterns are heard throughout the material, blast beats are not included though.

Unleashed has never been a band that was interesting to me until I got Midvinterblot, it did felt like metal veteran material but it also felt a bit refreshing too. I found some good stuff here and the first thing that grabbed my interest was the vocals. Johnny Hedlund’s type of death metal vocals was pretty unusual because most death metal bands I have heard has used growls, snarls or screams but this must be the first time I would use the word roar instead of growls. You can almost sense pride and glory in the dark roars; I would say that this feels a bit unique compared to other death metal bands. A second thing I liked was the variety of the material, most tracks were very strong in their sound and there was nothing to complicated or sloppy. There is a low risk of repetitive moments, I can only say that some songs felt a bit weaker and uninteresting compared to other songs.

This is a very strong album but I still have to mention some flaws that I think would be necessary if you are about to get this album. One slightly bad thing was some parts in the vocal performance, when Johnny transcends from roars to screams just sounds so bad, I think it would’ve been if he just could move on with his roars. Other things I thought were a bit bad or uninteresting was just a few riffs in some of the songs, Blood Of Lies, We Must Join Him and The Witch were some tracks I thought had some odd riffs. That’s the only bad things I can find in this album, but most o these accusations are just my own personal but I thought I could mention anyway.

End of the line, I was fairly surprised that I enjoyed this album as much as I did. It felt unique since this album is made by one of the veteran bands in Sweden; it was also very heavy and had a great variety throughout the material. The vocals and the lyrics were perhaps some things that grabbed my attention the best, I really love the heathen mythology and the roars really fitted well to the music. I did also found a new absolute favourite death song, Midvinterblot was just as heavy as Thor’s own hammer, superb song! So what kind of people would enjoy this album and band, I would say that people who loves or likes Swedish death metal or Scandinavian extreme metal will definitely find some pleasing moments from this album. If you like Dismember or bands that has Viking influenced lyrics then you will enjoy this.

Positives
+ Great vocals
+ Good sound quality
+ Very heavy death metal
+ Great variety of album material
+ This album is not as cliché as other albums since the lyrics are influenced by heathen mythology and such

Negatives
- The bass is quite inaudible
- The vocals might fail in some songs
- Once you have found your favourite tracks you will probably don’t pay attention to the other tracks

Recommended Favourites
-- Midvinterblot
-- This Is Our World Now
-- In Victory Or Defeat
-- Salvation Of Mankind
-- Age Of The Warrior

This album has to sink in a bit before you can give it a proper judgement but I will give this album a odd rating this time, final score is: 3.7/5



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user ratings (128)
Chart.
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Tyler
Emeritus
February 28th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I felt that this album started off a lot stronger than it ended.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 28th 2007


3708 Comments


this must be the first time I would use the word roar instead of growls. You can almost sense pride and glory in the dark roars;
Roar for Odin like a true Viking warrior!

Nice review, but I don't know what you mean by this:
As many death metal bands the bass is hardly noticed or audible, I could still say that without a bass this music would’ve sounded very flat, the bass still provides a good sound to back up the guitars


Tyler
Emeritus
February 28th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

He's saying that though you rarely notice the bass, it still provides a nice low-end to their sound.



I do love the mix between Old and New School Death on this album.

Eakflanderyof
February 28th 2007


2421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, but a few grammar mistakes.



I suggested this band in my "unknown bands to check out" list. You replied and said they were awesome.



I'm seeing this band live at the Masquerade in Atlanta with Belphegor tomorrow. It should be a great show.

Tyler
Emeritus
February 28th 2007


7925 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I still prefer their debut; anyone into old-school Swedish DM must check it out.

Mikesn
Emeritus
February 28th 2007


3708 Comments


He's saying that though you rarely notice the bass, it still provides a nice low-end to their sound.
Right, makes sense.

Dethtrasher
March 1st 2007


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry bout the grammar but nobody proofread it so I submitted it as it was. Well, I gave it to South but he didn't had time so he thought that I could submit it anyway.

Eakflanderyof
March 2nd 2007


2421 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh man, the concert kicked ***. Belphegor put on the best show by far, though. They had a good frontman. Unleashed was awesome too though. I got an Unleashed "Midvinterblot" shirt too. The concert ended at 11:30. I got home at 1:15 and heated up some leftover pancakes and made some grits and ate them and went to sleep. Yea, pretty awesome night. This Message Edited On 03.02.07

Cravinov13
March 9th 2007


3854 Comments


The songs I've heard from this I didn't care to much, but I guess I listen to some more of it.

FR33L0RD
May 29th 2007


1474 Comments


I need to get my hands on this

Slaytan
November 25th 2007


1185 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album, great review.

myhigherpie
December 15th 2008


3029 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is some damn solid death metal.



love the riffs... brutal.

BallsToTheWall
February 11th 2009


49310 Comments


Title track gives me a massive boner.

Digging: T.S.O.L. - Dance With Me

jingledeath
February 11th 2009


7101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MIDVINTERBLOT!!

fireaboveicebelow
February 18th 2009


6832 Comments


this is crushing, and yes better than Amon Amarth

jingledeath
February 18th 2009


7101 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

it's crushing, massive and what ever other word you can use to describe awesome death metal but definitely not better than Amon Amarth.

lauriej
May 9th 2009


1713 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

very good quality death metal here. the main flaw is that they tried to make 15 tracks worth of good DM which inevitably means you will get a few filler tracks. but great and possibly worthy of a 4 eventually.

Relinquished
November 1st 2009


38957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow this is really good

evilford
February 19th 2013


42078 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Wow this is really good [2]

Relinquished
December 13th 2013


38957 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

title track so catchy



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