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 3.58 | 8 ratings
Where No Life Dwells
Death Metal 1991
UNLEASHED Shadows in the Deep album cover 3.71 | 6 ratings
Shadows in the Deep
Death Metal 1992
UNLEASHED Across the Open Sea album cover 3.38 | 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 4.28 | 7 ratings
Midvinterblot
Death Metal 2006
UNLEASHED Hammer Battalion album cover 4.17 | 3 ratings
Hammer Battalion
Death Metal 2008
UNLEASHED As Yggdrasil Trembles album cover 4.12 | 4 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 0.00 | 0 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 .....Revenge album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
.....Revenge
Death Metal 1990
UNLEASHED Century Media promo Tape album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Century Media promo Tape
Death Metal 1990
UNLEASHED The Utter Dark album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Utter Dark
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 (2)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
And The Laughter Has Died...
Death Metal 1991
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Where Is Your God Now?
Death Metal 2015

UNLEASHED movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

UNLEASHED Reviews

UNLEASHED Sworn Allegiance

Album · 2004 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Sworn Allegiance" is the 7th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in July 2004. After a longer hiatus Unleashed returned in 2002 with reissues of their early albums and with their 6th full-length studio album "Hell's Unleashed (2002)". "Hell's Unleashed (2002)" showed a band firing on all cylinders again, after a couple of more mediocre album releases and "Sworn Allegiance" continues the positive trend.

Stylistically "Sworn Allegiance" pretty much continues where "Hell's Unleashed (2002)" left off (although the quality of the material is generally higher on this release), and the listener is treated to powerful and energetic Swedish death metal done the Unleashed way. Unleashed were never the most raw and brutal Swedish death metal band, but typically opted for a more defined and unique sound, which is raw enough, but not quite as bludgeoning and savage as some of the output by their contemporary colleagues. Unleashed focus a lot on simplicity and catchiness, and especially the latter is often neglected in extreme metal, but Unleashed understand the importance of that particular feature. While not all tracks on "Sworn Allegiance" are equally memorable and there are arguably a couple of unremarkable tracks scattered on the album (and a couple where the lyrics are bit cringe worthy), there are also some absolutely killer tracks featured on the album with infectious hooklines and memorable riffs like "Winterland", "The Longships Are Coming", and "Long Live the Beast" ("Attack" is also an absolute scorcher).

"Sworn Allegiance" aslo features a powerful and well sounding production, and the performances are strong on all posts. Lead vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund seems to have found his second youth after the 2002 comeback and he sounds commanding while delivering his intelligible growling vocals. Drummer Anders Schultz as always delivers a great percussive attack and guitarists Tomas Olsson and Fredrik Folkare churn out one memorable riff after another. I have to mention the many great guitar solos too (courtesy of Folkare) as they are are delivered with great skill and flair for melody. So upon conclusion "Sworn Allegiance" is a high quality release by Unleashed and although not perfect, a 3.5 star (70%) rating is still well deserved.

UNLEASHED No sign Of Life

Album · 2021 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"No sign Of Life" is the 14th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Napalm Records in November 2021. It´s the successor to "The Hunt For White Christ" from 2018.

Stylistically you get exactly what you expect from an Unleashed album. Energetic and relatively simple structured old school death metal with predominantly Scandinavian mythology/viking/anti-christianity lyrical themes. The band are as well playing as ever and the material is catchy, effective, and powerful, but if I have to mention one change from the last couple of releases, it´s Johnny Hedlund´s vocal style, which has changed a little bit from his usual snarling aggresive growling towards a slightly more throaty shouting/semi-growling vocal style. It reminds me of how he sounded on some of the less interesting mid-90s releases by the band, and that´s not a positive in my book. It´s a highly subjective opinion though and despite of how I feel about the vocals, they are arguably both powerful and well performed, and I´m sure most listeners won´t have the slightest problem enjoying them.

As usual I have to give lead guitarist Fredrik Folkare a special mention for his contributions. Once again he proves how important he is for Unleashed adding texture, harmony, melody, and some incredibly well played guitar solos to the music, making what could otherwise have been just pretty simple death metal so much more. Just as an example try and listen to what he does on a track like "You Are the Warrior!". But it´s the same on all tracks. If you removed his playing from the album, it would not be nearly as interesting or varied a listening experience.

"No sign Of Life" features a raw, powerful, and detailed sound production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion Unleashed have done it again...and have released another high quality death metal album. I won´t let my bias towards the vocal style affect my rating and therefore a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

UNLEASHED Hell's Unleashed

Album · 2002 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Hell's Unleashed" is the 6th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in April 2002. It´s the successor to "Warrior" from 1997. After touring in support of "Warrior (1997)", the band felt a need for a break and went on a hiatus which ended up lasting 5 years, where they concentrated on other projects. They made a comeback in 2002 with reissues of their early albums and with "Hell's Unleashed".

Stylistically the material on "Hell's Unleashed" is a bit of a melting pot of all the elements from their previous releases. There are both old school death metal elements and viking mythology here, but also more contemporary lyrical subjects and groove metal and death´n´roll elements. Not completely unlike the musical style on the last couple of albums by the band. Thankfully "Hell's Unleashed" features a stronger and more powerful sounding production job than the last couple of albums, and that helps the material shine a bit more.

The 14 tracks on the 43:45 minutes long album are predominantly simple vers/chorus structured songs which are between 2-4 minutes long, so compositionally there are very few surprises, although the band do try a few new compositional ideas. "Hell's Unleashed" is both well performed and as mentioned above well produced, so upon conclusion it´s a good quality release by Unleashed. It´s not their best, nor is it a perfect release (some of the lyrics are for example badly written and honestly a bit cringe worthy), but it´s a solid release and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.

UNLEASHED Warrior

Album · 1997 · Death Metal
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UMUR
"Warrior" is the 5th full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released through Century Media Records in June 1997. It´s the successor to "Victory" from 1995. There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Fredrik Lindgren has been replaced by Fredrik Folkare. It marks the first lineup change since Robert Sennebäck (Necrophobic, Dismember) left Unleashed in their pre-album days.

While "Victory (1995)" introduced a more groove oriented death metal style compared to the first three albums by the band (which were all old school Swedish death metal releases), "Warrior" sees Unleashed entering death´n´roll territory, although still with strong old school death metal ties and a focus on groove. It´s still unmistakably the sound of Unleashed with Johnny Hedlund´s easily recognisable semi-growling vocals in front (here they are often shouts more than growls) and the viking/Norse mythology themed lyrics are intact too (although Unleashed do cover other subjects), but the instrumental part of the music is predominantly pretty different from the early output by the band.

The quality of the tracks is a bit up and down, but there are a couple of highlights featured on the album like "In Hellfire" (the lyrics are ridiculously corny, but somehow they work anti-christian wonders anyway) and the ultra heavy "Ragnarök". Other tracks are completely unremarkable and some feature cringe worthy bad lyrics. Examples of the latter are "Mediawhore", "Down Under Ground", and "Death Metal Victory".

The sound production is decent, but lacks a bit of punch, and especially the guitar tone could have been more well sounding. The musicianship is solid as always, but upon conclusion it´s safe to say that "Warrior" is among the least interesting releases by Unleashed. The songwriting simply isn´t memorable enough, and when the lyrics are often as badly written as they are that´s not exactly a plus either. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

UNLEASHED The Hunt For White Christ

Album · 2018 · Death Metal
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Nightfly
Let’s get straight to the point, The Hunt For White Christ, album number 13 from Swedish death metaller’s Unleashed is fucking awesome! These guys have rarely released a bad album in their almost 30 year career and since Sworn Allegiance back in 2004 all their albums would receive nothing less than 4 stars from me.

If you know Unleashed you’ll know what to expect here – death metal with touches of black and thrash metal thrown in and we’re still in the world of Odalheim as on the last few albums. Yes, don’t expect any surprises in musical growth but that’s fine with me when they keep releasing albums of this quality. If anything these songs are played with added fire and energy though as song after song unleash (no pun intended) great riff after great riff. This is easy to get into death metal and could be a good starting point for the uninitiated with Johnny Hedlund’s clear growl being more accessible than many singers in the genre. There’s also plenty of melody both in the riffs and guitar solos which are rarely less than incendiary. Things are never allowed to get dull as the music is constantly shifting through well thought out parts and tempo shifts and of course great musicianship – after 30 years it’s not surprising this band runs like a well-oiled machine. I won’t cite individual songs for praise as such is the quality here it’s almost impossible to pick favourites.

I’ve added some great death metal albums to my collection this year but The Hunt For White Christ is one of my most played and favourites. Long may this great death metal institution continue to release albums as good as this.

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