Across the Open Sea



by Dethtrasher USER (232 Reviews)
January 22nd, 2009 | 10 replies

Release Date: 1993 | Tracklist

Unleashed was one of the first death metal bands to enter the Swedish metal scene alongside Grave, Dismember and Entombed. These bands founded the Swedish death metal sound and it has been developing and improving ever since. Unleashed has been active for over twenty years now, they have released numerous full-lengths, at least two live albums and recently one compilation album. Their latest record is called Hammer Battalion and it is a solid proof that the band is here to stay. Unleashed has been playing regular death metal from the beginning but with time they started to become more like a Viking/death band. And I would like to point out that the music is basic death metal, just like Dismember, Unleashed has some melodic moments scattered around in their violent music. Unleashed are also considered to be one of the first Swedish death metal bands to include lyrics based on Vikings and northern mythology, and everything took off with the album Across The Open Sea.

Across The Open Sea was the first album to include new lyrics and sound. This album is not necessarily one of their strongest albums because the positive and negative aspects are quite equal. But Across The Open Sea is an unusually diverse death metal album. Some songs are strictly pure death metal, some tracks are pretty much basic death-rock while the rest is none of the before mentioned. The One Insane and Execute Them All are two tracks that could be labelled as death-rock. The riffs and overall song structures are quite catchy and heavy but not as extreme as regular death metal. But when you look at tracks like I Am God, The General and Forever Goodbye (2045) you will find some straight up-your-*** death metal. Here you have your portion of tremolo picking patterns and raging blast-beats. Everything suddenly changes when tracks like the slow-moving and melodic Captured or the twitchy and chunky In Northern Lands shows up. All tracks here are not similar to each other and that is a very good thing (well, not necessarily). The listener won't be able to predict what’s about to come. If every track sound like I Am God you could easily figure out how the album would sound like, fortunately, that's not the case.

Across The Open Sea is an album that has both positive and negative factors. The only negative thing that I can point out about this album would be the flat sound production. This sound is nowhere near the flawless and powerful sound that can be heard on the recent records. The guitars sound quite hollow even if those instruments are the most audible ones. The bass is quite inaudible while the drums are quite neutral. But some tracks actually have some powerful moments of sound, the droning Open Wide is quite forceful as well as The One Insane. I can't complain about anything else really. The music dynamics are varied and the song content is interesting and Johnny's roar sounds good. It is just the overall sound and a couple of tracks that doesn't impress me very much.

Across The Open Sea was the beginning of an new era for these ''unleashed'' metal veterans. All the death metal material was still there and only minor changes were added to the music, such as small amounts of melodies and a new set of lyrics. People who are into the death metal scene should at least check out some of the material that Unleashed has made. This album here isn't necessarily a must-have but if you want to know how the band sounded like when they introduced the viking sound for the first time then you should get this. Even if this album is not as powerful as Midvinterblot or Hammer Battalion it still contains some memorable moments.

+ Very interesting song variety
+ Johnny's vocals (roars)
+ Quite catchy death metal

- Average sound production
- Some tracks doesn't stand out at all

Recommended Tracks
-- The One Insane
-- Captured
-- Forever Goodbye (2045)

Final rating will be an uncertain 3.5/5

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user ratings (95)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 22nd 2009


Unleashed was one of the first death metal bands to enter the Swedish metal scene alongside Grave, Dismember and Entombed.

Well since Sweden basically pioneered Death Metal, wouldn't it be safe to say that Unleashed was one of the first Death Metal bands on the scene period?

January 22nd 2009


123. Good review, good band, haven't heard this record yet. UNLEASHED FTW.

Digging: August Burns Red - Found in Far Away Places

January 22nd 2009


Well since Sweden basically pioneered Death Metal


January 24th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

Dude, we took death metal to newer levels.

September 24th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

Good stuff.

Digging: Popiol - Zabobony

October 5th 2012


The album artwork for this is awesome

Digging: Sense Field - Tonight and Forever

November 20th 2012


I dig their logo. It could pass for a black metal logo.

November 20th 2012


Album Rating: 3.5

band rules

February 20th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5

this is one of the coolest album covers ever

February 20th 2013


Album Rating: 3.5


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