When we talk about Melodic Death Metal, UNLEASHED highlight as one of the genre's brightest performers. Their first two full-lengths ("Where No Life Dwells" and "Shadows In The Deep") are crushing, violent and electric, and these Swedes became immadiately very respected. After that, they never changed their musical path, and with some albums certainly better than others, they kept the formula that mixes a superb guitar work, ripping vocals with attractive choruses and a good dose of catchiness. I personally lost their footsteps after that bad joke called "Hell's Unleashed" was released, so this new promo is the oportunity to give UNLEASHED a new chance.
And well, "Midvinterblot" is a totally predictable album for those who already know this band. Short, straight-to-vein songs, a good thrashy riffing and a few outstanding solos build the structure of all the songs. Vocals are very orchish and aggressive, and the tradition of being one of the worst lyricists on scene is respected. Silly tales that mix vikings, Tolkien and psycho killers will march in front of you... anyway, UNLEASHED don't take themselves too seriously and that allows them to write refreshing Death Metal despite their stupid lyrics.
I personally label "Midvinterblot" as one of the weak UNLEASHED albums, but it still stands far above the average of what you can find in Melodic Death/Thrash. A disc with guts, skilled players and a nice attitude, although unfortunately a sign of a band repeating themselves with self-created clichés and a fragile concept that had became too old after so many albums.
(Online December 17, 2006)