UNLEASHED — Warrior (review)

UNLEASHED — Warrior album cover Album · 1997 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
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 There´s been one lineup change since the predecessor as guitarist Fredrik Lindgren has been replaced by Fredrik Folkare.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.
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