Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine – Nuclear Blast Records – Release: April 20th 2015.
I reckon it’s safe to say that the Viking mastodon known as Amon Amarth might not have existed without the previous efforts of Viking death metal masters Unleashed. Yet where Amon Amarth has taken the road of becoming a bit of a party band Unleashed still obliterate anything in their way with hard hitting death metal. And now, three years since the masterful “Odalheim” they are about to release their twelfth saga of Viking mythology driven warfare with “Dawn of the Nine”!
Johnny Hedlund – Bass, Vocals
Tomas Måsgard – Guitar
Fredrik Folkare – Guitar
Anders Schultz – Drums
Dawn of the Nine
Right from the first pounding notes of “A New Day Will Rise” you know you’re in for a good old Unleashed battery of the ears. Uncompromising death metal with a lot of melodies strewn around and Johnny’s gruff vocals. It’s still impressive that he’s been able to keep up that guttural style of singing for so many years, yet the rage is still fully in effect.
With hardly a moment’s notice the band dives into the speedfest “They Came To Die” which will make for a great singalong during shows, before shifting gears into a more trudging Viking metal sound with “Defenders of Midgard”. And you can be sure to see a lot of raised fists shouting along with the chorus of the album’s single “Where is Your God Now?”. This single gave the fans a great taste of the album and I could easily point at this song of one of the highlights, if the album wasn’t one big reel of highlights.
“The Bolt Thrower” isn’t about what you would think. Instead it’s one of the titles bestowed upon the new leader for the Hammer Battalions. A catchy and heavy pounding song which sort of feels like a projectile slowly being pulled back into position, to be launched at full speed. In this case the projectile would be the band and “Let the Hammer Fly” quite accurately describes the wrath accompanying them.
The heaviest song on the album is without a doubt the title track. Hell, it has the speed of a doom metal song, right up ‘till the point where a face shredding solo speeds things up.
Closing the album is “Welcome the Son of Thor!” which opens up as a nice fast pounder, before occasionally slowing down to a more melodic and slightly melancholic track. It has a rather sudden end where you’re left with the final sounds of the battles witnessed.
And a desire to spin the album again.
Unleashed have brought us another great piece of Viking death metal. It’s always good to see a veteran band that has kept true to form, without becoming a shadow of its former self. The “Dawn of the Nine” is here and it is glorious!
- A New Day Will Rise
- They Came to Die
- Defenders of Midgard
- Where is Your God Now?
- The Bolt Thrower
- Let the Hammer Fly
- Where Churches Once Burned
- Land of the Thousand Lakes
- Dawn of the Nine
- Welcome the Song of Thor!
Score: 4,3 out of 5
Text by: Robert Popovic