UNLEASHED — Across the Open Sea (review)

UNLEASHED — Across the Open Sea album cover Album · 1993 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
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.
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