Since their formation in 1989 Swedish death metal warriors Unleashed have written albums that are now seen to be a few of the pillars of the Swedish death metal sound.
The likes of Entombed, At The Gates, Grave & Dismember are undeniable. But Unleashed have always been the kings of the Swedish sound for me personally.
“Where No Life Dwells” & “Across the Open Sea” are perfect albums in my opinion & are very overlooked within the scene.
One thing that Unleashed have been able to do since their formation is progress their sound. Where many have huge genre shifts or repeat the same material over & over Unleashed have been able to still create albums with long givity & still write albums that are crushing & catchy to this day.
Their last album “The Hunt for White Christ” was a highly reviewed album & my personal favorite of the band’s newer releases.
Now their follow up “No Sign Of Life” the fifth album in the bands creation detailing stories around Odalheim which are all stories penned by singer & bassist Johnny Hedlunds.
The band’s first single “The King Lost His Crown” is the perfect opener.
Reminding long time Unleashed fans where the band left off & also showing new listeners what that band are capable of.
Using a catchy fast paced guitar riff merged with 1000bpm drums this is an ear blaster. Then suddenly switching a gear to create a catchy and headbanging chorus that is true Unleased.
Using melodic elements that weave in & out of song and even peaking to a roaring guitar solo this opening track gives you everything you could want. Giving you a taste of what’s to come.
Things won’t relent within this album, the second track “The Shepherd Has Left the Flock” is Unleashed at full throttle.
This album shows that the whole band are able to create catchy music but still maintain that pure Swedish death metal sound they helped create. Johnny Hedlund (Bass & Vocals), Anders Schultz (Drums), Tomas Måsgard (Guitars), Fredrik Folkare (Guitars) are all musicians on the top of their game & this album shows they are untouchable.
“You Are the Warrior!” would get the award for most epic song if there was a category ha!
“You are the warrior, and you fight! Fight!” harping from Johnny Hedlund elevates this track so high.
Where other bands who lean on the theme of vikings & norse myths Unleashed are no way cheesy & make it so impactful within a track that oozes pure motivation.
The track that follows & the title track of the album “No Sign of Life” is the bands most blistering on the whole album. From start to finish it’s a rager.
Full of constant blast beats, a stellar vocal performance from Johnny Hedlund & a great guitar interplay if you like raw stripped back death metal this track is for you. It even blurs the line between death metal & black metal at times which I love.
The closing track on the album “Here at the End of the World” is a culmination of all the elements within the album but added are some imaginative experimental elements that leave the closing minutes of the album on ethereal note & a brilliant closing chapter in the band’s fifth chapter.
“No Sign Of Life” is an unparalleled album. For a band now on their 14th full length album they still have so much to give & create. Showing that longevity & perseverance rules all!
No Sign of Life is out via Napalm Records on the 12th November 2021