UNLEASHED – As Yggdrasil Trembles CD
Nuclear Blast Records
Does Johnny Hedlund still drink mead from a horn on stage or is it really iced tea? If you ever see some band on stage taking pulls from a Jack Daniels bottle, it’s actually iced tea. I’m not sorry if I ruined your drunken rock star fantasy worship but it’s about time you come down from the ceiling. The same could be said for this long time Swedish Death Metal band. Don’t get me wrong because I’m still a fan. In fact I was playing their Where No Life Dwells CD from 1991 the other week. The music still pushes me to pick up my ballpean hammer and chuck it at the picture of a christian monk I have on the wall. Take that you missionary fuck, Viking Death Metal rules! Unfortunately the war is long over and we’ve been involved in an occupation for quite some time. 2008’s Hammer Battalion was definitely a worthwhile release but that’s the rub. The word “exceptional” hasn’t been used to describe an UNLEASHED release for a while and it’s not going to be done here.
This new one is consistent with the previous out put of UNLEASHED, so if you’re a fan then you won’t be disappointed. Obviously Nuclear Blast Records is banking on it since scooping them up from SPV. So just like previous releases this new one gives you a heaping helping of Norse mythology to study upon. The title goes into so much detail that this would turn into a Wikipedia insert instead of a review. Hedlund’s vocals are at their most attack mode in a while. I doubt it means this is his last battle since Nuclear Blast probably has him signed for two more. Musically UNLEASHED are as always a group of bloodied but unbowed warriors who are ready for a fight anytime anywhere and they will win. The riffs on here are cleaner than normal thanks to a better recording budget. Fans know they’ve reached more to the melodic side over the years but this time they’ve landed and have placed a flag on the beach. Still the guitar lines on here will flay your christian sympathies and if that doesn’t work then the drums will crush your skull. As always I’ve never looked upon an UNLEASHED release for having standout tracks. To me it’s always been the body of work taken as a whole and on here it is the same way. Is this a great release? No, but they are a consistently great band who have yet to put out a disappointing release. And if you don’t believe me I’ll chuck a ballpean hammer at your face.