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.
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.
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.
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.
+ 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
- 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
-- 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