Death Metal Ship UNLEASHED is out on the hunt again, with Captain Johnny Hedlund holding the rudder in his iron fisted grip! The quartet is one of the senior members of the Swedish Death Metal marine and back for their eighth stint in the stormy waters of Death. "Where No Life Dwells", "Shadows In The Deep", "Across The Open Sea", "Victory", "Warrior", "Hell's Unleashed" and "Sworn Allegiance" have been the code names of their previous missions and now they are out for some midwinter blood: "Midvinterblot".
And whatever people said about the previous few albums, like lacking power etc., forget that with "Midvinterblot", because this album will run you over like a freight train at full speed and there is no way you can get out of its way! UNLEASHED still sound like what UNLEASHED stand for: Tremendous power, relatively simple, but all the more effective riffing, subtle, but cool melodies and now also great guitar solos.
Responsible for the latter is former SIEBENBÜRGEN six-stringer Fredrik Folkare, who definitely adds another element into the mix, but still, the power is what makes this album the Death Metal thunderstorm it is, clearly showing that age does in no way mean that a band will soften up, quite the contrary, in my opinion "Midvinterblot" is the heaviest and fastest record UNLEASHED have released since "Victory" way back. Not that the last ones were wimpy, but still, I would not have thought that the guys would unleash (no pun intended) such a storm!
Imagine a cranky bulldozer that you took away the favourite plush toy. That is roundabout what you can expect from opener "Blood Of Lies". Heavy as shit, thunderous riffing, gruff vocals, heavy chorus and a fast, intricate solo, what a way to kick things off. But that by far is not all that we get here, "We Must Join With Him" must have one of the heaviest riff attacks I have ever heard, "Midvinterblot" slows things down a little, but without missing a beat of heaviness, "Triumph Of Genocide" has a highly interesting guitar melody and "Psycho Killer" is another equivalent to a musical steam roller that will just not let up.
The good old Swedish Death Metal is not dead yet, quite the contrary, UNLEASHED have breathed new life into it and prove that they still have a lot to give! Still nothing for the fans of technical intricacies and breaks galore, but if you want it heavy, brutal, but still melodic, this one is for you!
(Online November 5, 2006)