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This Victory album features some changes by Unleashed. If in the past they were known for their gloom sounds and the essential productions, here the things are a bit different. The 90s brought with him several innovations and also the old school bands that resisted to this period were influenced in a quite heavy way. The death metal was suffering and the thrash metal was dead and cold. Unleashed, before stopping for few years, displayed to the fans a new conception of metal and, in particular, a new one for death metal. Yes, the ideas were not already so strong anymore on the Across The Open sea album but it was still a quite pure form of death metal…
Here instead, the biggest influences come from the modern metal and a band like Machine Head…damn! I was this band never been born! The production is now clearer and the guitars have found that loud volume they deserved, but, on the other hand, everything sounds less impulsive ad more polished. Forget about the obscurity that lied so heavily on the albums before. The very first riff is representative: it’s terribly gooving and with whistles added. The mid-paced progression is not strong and the vocals are far less screamed! They are unbelievably without balls! They took more elements from the modern styles and hardcore…
The riffs are derivative and the faster restarts are dull and everything seems so weak. It’s also irritating to notice how much this virus entered the sound. I mean, Unleashed never put out masterpieces but they always seemed faithful to a certain style now they let me down. Fortunately, “Legal Rapes” is faster but the vocals are not that convincing. By the way, it’s a way better song and it’s reminiscent of the old times with fast riffs and tremolos. The more epic breaks are very well-done. “Hail The New Age” is so boring and slow…almost nothing is remarkable here. The riffs are always identical and not that special either.
“The Defender” shows always those mid-paced parts and the quite derivative riffs. The vocals are a way between the classic low-pitched tonality and the new style. It’s not horrible as track but not exceptional either. It’s the same speech we could do for the boring tracks here: they are not horrible or bad but not strong. Finally “In The Name Of God” is different and the thrash elements are more present. The style has changed and we find less Unleashed style riffs. They are more thrash metal in style. Then, how can you make a 5 minute doom track like “Precious Land” and try to be convincing and epic? This is beyond me…
The riffs return on “Berserk” and actually this song is good in my opinion…the style is always a bit contaminated, but this offering is surely more valid. The epic and massive chorus is very good and the verses are heavy as fuck. “Scream Forth Aggression” is another very good track. This time the vocals fit better the sound and the epic/aggressive feeling is more present, also in the riffage. Surely this is the best track along “Berserk”. “Against the World” is not bad but a bit repetitive on the mid-paced parts. The riffs are heavier in some sections and way better too, while with “Revenge” we reach the end of the album. This song is definitely faster and the riffs are just obliterating. Another very good song.
All in all, the start was kinda tragic but going on this album surprised me for some good tracks. Surely the faster ones and better and the doom others are to skip without fear. Some vocal parts are more modern but they are not so annoying. By the way, the screams are always present. Frankly, the good tracks here are even a bit better than some older ones…yes…the thrash elements are stronger but they are dynamic and well-played. Overall, it’s a worthy effort by this band.