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The Subtle Luxury Car Of European Death Metal - 80%

Shirt_Guy, August 4th, 2008

The first thing I noticed about Unleashed is that unlike all the other old-school European death metal bands, they simply don’t run out to pelt you with all the elements that can make a band superficially heavy. They don’t have a buzzin’, double distortion, “Sun Studio” guitar tone, nor do they attempt to play at inhumanly fast speeds before shifting into the slowest possible sludge lurches. The vocals are a growl, but not really very low, or as harsh as possible. Instead, Unleashed gets their point across with legible, clear screaming, sharp guitars, and snare drum hits that crack like baseball bats, all with an atmosphere that draws you in with hooking riffs, catchy vocal rhythms, and just a tad bit of underground reverb to get a little hint of their favourite demos.

Who were the bands to influences old-school European death metal? Why Black Sabbath with their gloomy slowness, Iron Maiden with their harmonized whipping, and 80’s thrash metal with galloping rhythms, all included here in evolutionary form. There’s a few points where you can hear the obvious nod to the aforementioned bands and genres, but those moments only reinforce the overall connection of metal to other metal.

The cover is adorned with swords and axes that are well-worn, but still highly effective without going over the top with say, the biggest, craziest looking weapons possible. What does that mean to you? Well, I guess it’s like comparing to Unleashed to a luxury car with a subtle sense of class, rather than trying to stuff the whole vehicle with wood and leather, which translates into focusing on the most important aspect - the writing of the songs to draw you in.

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