5 years after "Warrior" the Swedish Viking Deathsters of UNLEASHED report back. Back then (and earlier) I could not really say that I liked the music, but I loved the logo ever since, apart from the inverted cross, which is too placative, but the style itself definitely was my thing.
Musically my taste has further broadened ever since, so I had been quite interested to hear how they sound like in the year 2002. I can guarantee you, no Gothenburg-Death here, UNLEASHED are a good bit rougher and heavier, but don't make the mistake to equal heaviness with speed. The quartet rather likes it mid-paced, but still they swing the club.
Altogether UNLEASHED are straight-forward, relatively simple, no experiments and Johnny Hedlund's voice is no grunting, but rather a very rough voice, which you still can always understand. The opening trio "Don't Want To Be Born" (groovy, mid-paced, stomping), "Hell's Unleashed" (fast Death Metal-cracker) and "Demoneater" (straight, rough, almost a little snotty, I have a Death Metal-version of MOTÖRHEAD before my mind's eye) sets the pace, leaving a very good impression. Also to re-record VENOM's "Black Metal" as "Death Metal" is a funny and good idea, just like I regard the fast spear "Peace, Piece By Piece" as a good one.
Unfortunately the Gentlemen Vikings cannot keep up this level over the whole distance, which for sure also lies within the fact that "Hell's Unleashed" consists of 15 songs. Stuff like "Mrs. Minister" or "Joy In The Sun" themselves are not really bad, but seem like fillers, which they better would have left out… Some are just TOO simple…
Less would have been more here, because the good songs are really good, the rest, well, drags it down and the not too powerful sound does not help either. So a good comeback, but not a great one.