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HAIL ODIN! - 96%

ViralStream, December 17th, 2006

A true return to form from one of Sweden's great Death Metal bands, Unleashed have just gotten everything right on this 9th release of theirs. This Viking infused outburst of Death Metal will have you marching to your longboat and raiding small coastal villages, as this savage performance is just so enjoyable to listen to.

The album consists of 15 tracks, but is only a shade over 45 minutes long, meaning each of the tracks are just short outbursts of fury. I myself am a bit of a prog fan, so normally, I prefer longer tracks, just so that there can be a little bit more development within the songs, but the short tracks work very well for Unleashed. Each one provides a short blast of fury, filled with a variety of venomous riffs and prog-esque solos. It also allows them to vary their style within the album more. Although each track sticks to a similar formula, each one feels distinctly different to its predecessor.

So onto the album's musicianship. I've already touched on the guitar work, but I really need to say more. The riffing is so catchy, and really does subconsciously force you to bang your head along to the beat. Needless to say, after a week of listening to this album, I almost had whiplash. There's a solo in every song, and they're all of a great standard. The solos cry out over the persistent riffing to provide an epic feel to the music.

The drum-work isn't overly special, but it works well with the rest of the music. It provides the driving force to all of the music, and Anders Schultz really doesn't miss a beat, and just adds to the addictiveness of the sound. He mixes blast beats with some traditional death metal drumming, and there's also the occasional rock 'n' roll d-beat thrown in to add more diversity to the sound.

To add to the sound, the throbbing bass work is quite noticeable in the background, aiding the drums in providing great backing for the rest of the music.

The vocal work does not disappoint. As far as death growls go, Johnny Hedlund has gotten it right. He forms the growls well, and has nice change within his sound, not falling foul to the one-dimensional growl syndrome that plagues many death metal vocalists. The lyrics aren't quite as good as his vocals though. It's almost laughable at times, with cries of "Odin!" littered across most tracks, but it works quite well for the overall feel of the music. It makes the sound all the more uplifting, providing that "pillage a village" feel.

Overall, it's a great release, and it will appease the Viking within all of us. Go buy this album, phone your friends, raid the forest and get drunk; this is what the album was made for.