Why is it the case that whenever Melodic Death gets mentioned people immediately get to talking about IN FLAMES, AT THE GATES, SOILWORK and so on, including bands that borrow heavily from the Gothenburg sound. Why is it that Melo Death minus Gothenburg influences rarely gets a word of mention? Now I can never answer that. But what I can do is say that UNANIMATED's music embodies the melodic Swedish sound even though there are hints of fusion between Death Metal and Black Metal. And this doesn't include the extensive use of guitar solos with clean vocals. Listening to them one realizes that UNANIMATED indeed exemplifies the true old school Melodic Death style instead of being overtly melodic.
Sticking to Death Metal oriented sounds, UNANIMATED shows how Melodic Death Metal should sound - building melodies around Death Metal and not the other way around, keeping the Death factor intact in their music. Featuring members of ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER and THERION, UNANIMATED"s ''Ancient God Of Evil'' is a polished yet intricately blended record where each song strikes an evil chord from its melodic notes. The beauty of the album comes from the fact that implacable melodic riffs from the lead guitarist are always emphasized by an equally competent second guitarist playing discerning Metal riffs. The fast, distorted guitar riffs with the broken chords that move in a sequence inducing the melodic tone is best felt in the track ''Eye Of The Greyhound”.'
This twin guitar attack coupled with the raspy vocals of the Black Metal style makes a pleasurable change from the far-more mainstream sounds of Melodic Death scene. That Melodic Death sounds can be created by such minimal use of keyboard is a fact well worth applause for the band that rarely make a good work from the keyboard in the album. ''Dead Calm'' and ''Mireille'' are among the few tracks where keyboards are used, particularly in the slower parts of “Dead Calm” where keyboards add an ominous touch to the ambience. The melodies presented on the keyboard also gives a very sorrowful touch to the album's sounds. Drumming in ''Ancient God Of Evil'' is nothing too extravagant, just drumming along with the riffs with occasional bursts of doublekicks to keep up with the riff progressions.
All in all, presenting the album in one grand, majestic way all the while exploring the issues of nihilism and self-negation, UNANIMATED's ''Ancient God Of Evil'' is one of the most under-rated Melodic Death albums of all time. With nominal use of keyboards, UNANIMATED creates melodies with a strong presence of Death/Black elements which is nowhere close to the Gothenburg sounds. The level of musicianship is practically unparalleled to this day, but every song is incredibly well crafted thus leading to the high praise. Listen to this album to know how the Melodic Death Metal sounded before IN FLAMES and AT THE GATES stormed the scene.
Guest review by Shoubhik Roy
(Online October 29, 2009)