UNLEASHED

Death Metal • Sweden
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Unleashed is a Swedish death metal band formed in 1989 by bassist Johnny Hedlund after he left Nihilist for personal reasons. The band was one of the first death metal groups to write songs about history and Scandinavian culture instead of the violent and negative lyrics that are common in the genre.

In 1991, the band released their debut studio album, Where No Life Dwells, and toured with Morbid Angel in Europe and United States.

In 1992, Unleashed released their second studio album, Shadows in the Deep, including a cover version of Venom's Countess Bathory. Their next studio albums were Across the Open Sea in 1993 and Victory in 1995, the latter being the last album which guitarist Fredrik Lindgren played on. Lindgren focused on playing punk rock, and Unleashed replaced him with Fredrik Folkare, who played guitar on the fifth Unleashed studio album Warrior in 1997.

The band went
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UNLEASHED Discography

UNLEASHED albums / top albums

UNLEASHED Where No Life Dwells album cover 3.79 | 8 ratings
Where No Life Dwells
Death Metal 1991
UNLEASHED Shadows in the Deep album cover 3.89 | 6 ratings
Shadows in the Deep
Death Metal 1992
UNLEASHED Across the Open Sea album cover 3.69 | 4 ratings
Across the Open Sea
Death Metal 1993
UNLEASHED Victory album cover 3.64 | 3 ratings
Victory
Death Metal 1995
UNLEASHED Warrior album cover 2.93 | 3 ratings
Warrior
Death Metal 1997
UNLEASHED Hell's Unleashed album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Hell's Unleashed
Death Metal 2002
UNLEASHED Sworn Allegiance album cover 3.67 | 5 ratings
Sworn Allegiance
Death Metal 2004
UNLEASHED Midvinterblot album cover 4.10 | 8 ratings
Midvinterblot
Death Metal 2006
UNLEASHED Hammer Battalion album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Hammer Battalion
Death Metal 2008
UNLEASHED As Yggdrasil Trembles album cover 4.06 | 5 ratings
As Yggdrasil Trembles
Death Metal 2010
UNLEASHED Odalheim album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Odalheim
Death Metal 2012
UNLEASHED Dawn Of The Nine album cover 3.92 | 5 ratings
Dawn Of The Nine
Death Metal 2015
UNLEASHED The Hunt For White Christ album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
The Hunt For White Christ
Death Metal 2018
UNLEASHED No sign Of Life album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
No sign Of Life
Death Metal 2021

UNLEASHED EPs & splits

UNLEASHED And the Laughter Has Died... album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
And the Laughter Has Died...
Death Metal 1991
UNLEASHED In the Eyes of Death album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In the Eyes of Death
Death Metal 1991

UNLEASHED live albums

UNLEASHED Live in Vienna '93 album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
Live in Vienna '93
Death Metal 1993
UNLEASHED Eastern Blood Hail to Poland album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Eastern Blood Hail to Poland
Death Metal 1996

UNLEASHED demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

UNLEASHED The Utter Dark album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Utter Dark
Death Metal 1990
UNLEASHED .....Revenge album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
.....Revenge
Death Metal 1990
UNLEASHED Century Media promo Tape album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Century Media promo Tape
Death Metal 1990
UNLEASHED The Hunt for White Christ (EP & Rarities) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Hunt for White Christ (EP & Rarities)
Death Metal 2018

UNLEASHED re-issues & compilations

UNLEASHED ... And We Shall Triumph In Victory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
... And We Shall Triumph In Victory
Death Metal 2003
UNLEASHED Immortal Glory album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Immortal Glory
Death Metal 2008
UNLEASHED Viking Raids album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Viking Raids
Death Metal 2008
UNLEASHED The Utter Dark / ...Revenge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Utter Dark / ...Revenge
Death Metal 2015
UNLEASHED Death Metal Victory! - 30th Anniversary Edition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death Metal Victory! - 30th Anniversary Edition
Death Metal 2019

UNLEASHED singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Where Is Your God Now?
Death Metal 2015

UNLEASHED movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

UNLEASHED Reviews

UNLEASHED Across the Open Sea

Album · 1993 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Across the Open Sea" is the third full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in October 1993. It´s the band´s third album in as many years and the successor to "Shadows in the Deep" from May 1992. Unleashed were riding on a wave of success in those years and took full advantage of the situation by not resting on their laurels.

The music on "Across the Open Sea" pretty much continues where "Shadows in the Deep" left off. Relatively imple, effective, and memorable old school Swedish death metal. The viking/Norse mythology themes that the band had dipped their toes into on the previous releases are even more dominant on "Across the Open Sea", which songtitles like "To Asgaard We Fly" and "In the Northern Lands" also bear witness too (the cover artwork should also reveal this). In addition to the ten originals on the album the band also play a cover version of "Breaking the Law" by Judas Priest. I´m not sure I agree with that choice, but Unleashed are old school in so many ways, and including a heavy metal cover, was something many of their thrash/speed metal influences also did on their albums in the 80s.

Although the band don´t exactly excel in playing anything challenging, the musicianship is on a decent level. The sound production is relatively well sounding too but as the case were on the two predecessors Unleashed don´t favor raw brutality in their sound productions. Therefore everything is fully audible in the mix but as a consequence the production also lacks a bit of bite and power. It´s nothing serious and the album still sounds great, but I just wonder what the early Unleashed releases would have sounded like had they featured more brutal and gritty sound productions. Of course the more polished and clear sounding productions on the early Unleashed releases are one of the things which set them apart from their contemporaries.

If you are a fan of the band´s first two albums "Across the Open Sea" belongs in your collection along with those albums. Don´t expect anything that is much different from what you heard on those two albums though. In the early days Unleashed were about tradition and not innovation (that would change slightly already on the next album though). A 3.5 star (70%) rating is warranted.

UNLEASHED Shadows in the Deep

Album · 1992 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Shadows in the Deep" is the second full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in May 1992. It´s the successor to "Where No Life Dwells" from May 1991, which turned out a great success for the band. Both in terms of artistic success and sales numbers. I read a contemporary interview with lead vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund, where he said the debut album sold somewhere between 40.000 and 50.000 copies, which is a lot for a death metal album, even in the days before illegal internet downloads and streaming. So Unleashed wasted no time and returned to Woodhouse Studios in Dortmund, Germany in April 1992 (where they also recorded the debut album) with producer Waldemar Sorychta to record the material for "Shadows in the Deep".

Stylistically the music on the album pretty much continues down the same path as the vers/chorus structured old school death metal of the debut album. Pretty basic and simple Swedish death metal, with a less filthy and dark sound production than many of their contemporaries had on their early releases. In that respect Unleashed are actually the most easily accessible of the late 80s/early 90s Swedish death metal artists.

I find "Shadows in the Deep" just a notch more varied than "Where No Life Dwells". But the lack of surprises in the way the songs are structured does make it a slightly formulaic listen. Some of the standout tracks here are the fast and powerful opener "The Final Silence", the heavy mid-paced "The Immortals", and "Bloodbath", but the quality of the material is generally consistent. The cover of Venom´s "Countess Bathory" is decent but nothing out of the ordinary.

"Shadows in the Deep" features a sligthly more dark and heavy sounding production, but it´s still relatively polished for the genre, and sometimes a little more grit and rawness would have been nice. There are parts on the album which are lacking in power. It´s probably a combination of the simple riffs and song structures, and the sound production, but the point is that it could have been interesting to hear a more unhinged version of "Shadows in the Deep". Oh well...it´s still a great album as it is, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UNLEASHED Where No Life Dwells

Album · 1991 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Where No Life Dwells" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in May 1991. Unleashed was formed in 1989 after Nihilist disbanded. Bassist (later lead vocalist) Johnny Hedlund was not invited to join Entombed, which was formed one week after by the other members of Nihilist. In fact disbanding Nihilist and forming Entombed, was their way of getting rid of Hedlund instead of just telling him, that he was fired. Hedlund soon after formed Unleashed and recruited drummer Anders Schultz and guitarist Fredrik Lindgren, who were both part of the local Stockholm death metal scene, and to complete the lineup former Dismember frontman/guitarist Robert Sennebäck. The latter would leave after a couple of demos to rejoin Dismember and Thomas Olsson was his replacement on guitar while Hedlund took over the vocal duties.

This quartet incarnation of Unleashed was invited by Century Media Records to Nobel Studios, Bielefeld, Germany in December 1990 to record the "Century Media promo Tape". The label wanted to make sure that Hedlund was a suitable frontman before signing Unleashed. At that point they had only heard Sennebäck´s vocals on the first two demos. Hedlund nailed it though and off they went to record "Where No Life Dwells".

Unlike most other Swedish death metal acts at the time, Unleashed went to the Woodhouse Studios in Dortmund, Germany with producer Waldemar Sorychta to record the album, and not to the Sunlight Studios in Stockholm, Sweden, where most of their fellow countrymen recorded their early albums. That´s instantly audible when you listen to "Where No Life Dwells", which has a very different sound compared to most other old school Swedish death metal recordings. The sound on "Where No Life Dwells" is less dark, clearer, and not as muddy as the sound on many early nineties death metal recordings (and it doesn´t feature the buzzsaw Sunlight Studios guitar sound). The brutality is intact though, which is ensured by the brutal growls (and occasionally higher pitched screams) by Hedlund.

The album opens with the beautiful acoustic title track intro but from the first notes of the second track "Dead Forever" to the last notes of the closing track "Where Life Ends", there´s otherwise little variation to be found. The track feature relatively simple vers/chorus structures, but they are powerful, effective, and memorable. I wouldn´t be out of line calling the album a bit one-dimensional though and while tracks like "Dead Forever", "Before the Creation of Time", "Into Glory Ride", and "Unleashed" stand out in my book, I find the album as a whole a bit too formulaic and lacking surprises.

"Where No Life Dwells" is of course still rightly considered a seminal Swedish death metal release and it´s certainly one of the early Swedish death metal releases which stand out. Unleashed went their own ways, and it payed off. They sound very different from Entombed, Dismember, and Grave, although they all came from the same musical movement. The Norse mythology/viking themed lyrics also began here, and made Unleashed stand out even more, from the more typical gore/horror themed contemporary releases. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UNLEASHED And the Laughter Has Died...

EP · 1991 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"And the Laughter Has Died...." is a two-track (originally 7" vinyl) EP release by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The EP was released through Century Media Records in March 1991. In December 1990 Unleashed went to Nobel Studios, Bielefeld, Germany and recorded a total of seven promo tracks. Five of those tracks would be compiled on the "Century Media Promo Tape" and used by Century Media Records to promote Unleashed and the forthcoming debut full-length studio album "Where No Life Dwells" (May 1991, Century Media Records), while the two remaining unmixed tracks can be found on reissues of "Where No Life Dwells". Two of the tracks from the "Century Media Promo Tape" were used on this recording.

So "And the Laughter Has Died...." features promo versions of "The Dark One" and "Where Life Ends", which are both tracks which would be re-recorded and included on "Where No Life Dwells". Both are great, raw, and brutal old school Swedish death metal tracks and Unleashed showed great progress on these recordings compared to the performances on the two preceding demo releases. So upon conclusion "And the Laughter Has Died...." is a good quality death metal release from Unleashed, but if you can get your hands on the "Century Media Promo Tape", which features three additional tracks, that would be recommended. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

UNLEASHED Century Media promo Tape

Demo · 1990 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Century Media Promo Tape" is a promo cassette tape (and the band´s third demo) by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The promo was released through Century Media Records in late 1990 and it was only used for promotional purposes. It was never an item sold by Century Media Records. Unleashed was given the opportunity by Century Media Records to travel to Nobel Studios, Bielefeld, Germany and record this promo. Lead vocalist/guitarist Robert Sennebäck left Unleashed after the release of the October 1990 "....Revenge" demo to return to Dismember, and bassist Johnny Hedlund took up the lead vocal duties in addition to playing bass, and the label wanted to hear how Hedlund did before letting the band loose in the studio to record their debut album.

Unleashed recorded a total of seven tracks during the sessions. Five of those tracks appear on this promo, while the two remaining unmixed tracks can be found on reissues of "Where No Life Dwells" (the band´s 1991 debut full-length studio album). Three of the tracks had appeared on the two previous demo releases ("The Dark One", "Unleashed", and "Where Life Ends"), but appear here in different re-recorded versions.

If Century Media Records had any doubts about Hedlund fronting Unleashed and delivering the growling goods, Hedlund more than proves his worth on this release. His vocals are much more potent and unique than Sennebäck´s ever were, and the material, the performances, and the sound production on this release are generally leagues above the preceding demo recordings. It´s too bad they didn´t release this as an EP back then (although two of the tracks would be released on the March 1991 "And the Laughter Has Died...." EP), because it´s through and through a quality old school Swedish death metal release, and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

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