Unleashed
Hammer Battalion

While being chased after stealing Suttung’s mead, Odin was nearly caught and that close call made him wet himself, the urine raining down upon Midgard to inspire mortal poets. Obviously some spilled directly into Johnny’s glass shard filled drinking horn. Johnny’s vocals are getting harsher again, no mellowing with age here. Hedlund hear my call.

Unleashed is a prominent bass, straightforward song structure, technically proficient at unencumbered music, and one of the few bands that I can identify every song they have ever written within the first minute of listening. At heart they are a garage band that owes more to Motorhead than Mussorgsky. Three stellar albums, followed by three mediocre albums, followed by three excellent ones by the truly reborn Unleashed. Rather than rehash past glories the band remade their style and emerged from stagnant burial reenergized. They looked back on the glory days for inspiration not imitation. They stayed on a bit too long before calling it a day and came back a bit too early, but Unleashed has definitely had a resurgence to match their early years. 2004-2008 is definitely the equal of 1991-1993. “The hour of truth is near so we rise to the challenge.” That they did, and any naysayers that claimed they were washed up and never should have made a comeback better curl up under your bed and hide like frightened children for the Hammer Battalion hordes are forming around the world and we are coming for you.

Several songs harkens back to slower heavier beginnings, a few sound like Midvinterblot session recordings. All are keepers, though no real standout track like last time, thou I’ll pick the linked songs “Black Horizon/ Carved in Stone” as my top two songs. The two work great as one and should have been one track. Great lead guitars really build and build to a climax, then, abruptly, it is done. “Hammer Battalion” chugs along with Bay Area Thrash elements coupled with slow melodic lines. “Your Children Will Burn” has once again nice melodic leads and venomous vocals, just listen to Johnny, “Destruction, hatred, terror, your children will burn.” Also, I just like the sentiment. “Midsummer Solstice” is more ambitious in its solos without noodling. “Home of the Brave” has slow and heavy riffs and cool solos. I could single out several others as noteworthy as well.

Hail to Johnny for perseverance. Until the band replaces the logo with block letters, make mine Unleashed!

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Grimulfr
July 2nd, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: stilllife666

    Great review man. Buying it based on this review alone.


  2. Commented by: swampthang

    on global dominations aural autopsy this month. this album was like the only album that everyone liked. kinda wierd on that site lol


  3. Commented by: axiom

    This album is GREAT. How did I ignore Unleashed for so long? Now I gotta get some of the early stuff.


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