Unanimated
In the Light of Darkness

Remember the 90’s when Swedish melodic death metal was kicking our ass? Personally, I was a huge fan of the genre and that is actually where I started my extreme metal listening. Unanimated, who have been around since the late 80’s, graced us with a killer display in 1995 called Ancient God of Evil, and then went into hibernation. Some 14 years later, this band emerges from the shadows, and schools us once again, reaffirming that Stockholm does not fuck around.

This record reeks of old school blackened melodic death metal and is played with veteran competence, which should come as no surprise as this band is made up of members of Entombed and Dismember. The album leans heavily toward the black metal side of things a la Dissection, Gates of Ishtar (remember them?), and Emperor, with blasts and tremolo picking, intertwined within death metal essence, and nostalgic Scandinavian harmonies. The blasphemous nature of In the Light of Darkness is displayed immediately with “Retribution in Blood” as lead man Micke Jansson screeches “take the blood of the lamb, bleed for me!” Very nice.

This record isn’t terribly fast. It lies within a pocket of groove (“In the Light of Darkness” and “Enemy of the Sun”) with plenty of abstract drumming courtesy of Peter Stjärnvind. Blast beats are forthright yet tempo changes happen numerous times to advance these songs from damnable to triumphant (“The Unconquered One.”)

The balance between beautiful melodies and downright demonic scale work from Johan Bohlin is sharp as it creates something special for Unanimated. This band reminds me of a blackened version of early In Flames. At one point, they are blasting pure black furry, and the next thing you hear are harmonized melodies harking back to the Jester Race. There really hasn’t been a band that could balance the two so well since the late Dissection.

Bottom line- old school fans will eat this puppy up. The awesome thing about In the Light of Darkness is just how nostalgic it is. I haven’t heard stuff like this in years. Well done Unanimated.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shane Wolfensberger
July 28th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: plaguemyheavensblack

    Good to hear. I really miss that style of melodic death. What got me into extreme music also. Gates of Ishtar were one of my favorite melo-death bands. Dawn of Flames had some of the best dual melodic guitar work. Love them dudes.


  2. Commented by: SerenityInFire

    Uh, it should say Stockholm “does not” fuck around, as Stockholm is one city, and should be singular.


  3. Commented by: Shane

    Someone care to edit that please.


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