UNLEASHED — Shadows in the Deep (review)

UNLEASHED — Shadows in the Deep album cover Album · 1992 · Death Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Shadows in the Deep is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unleashed. The album was released in May 1992 by Century Media Records. The debut release Where No Life Dwells (1991) had turned out a great success for the band. Both in terms of artistic success and sales numbers. As far as I remember from an old interview with lead vocalist/ bassist Johnny Hedlund, 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. I was one of those fans eagerly awaiting the release of Shadows in the Deep and I remember purchasing my vinyl copy. I remember I enjoyed the album, but I liked the debut better. Unleashed is one of those acts I haven´t listened to in many years though, so it´s been very interesting diggin´ out those first two albums to write a couple of reviews. The debut didn´t impress me much, so what about Shadows in the Deep? Has it grown on me in all those years?

The music on the album pretty much continue down the same path as on the debut album. Pretty basic and simple Swedish death metal, with a less filthy production than many of their contemporaries. I find Shadows in the Deep just a notch more varied than Where No Life Dwells, but still it´s only able to make my blood boil on occassion. Some of the strong songs here are the fast and powerful opener The Final Silence, the heavy mid-paced The Immortals and Bloodbath but generally I find the songs too predictable and generic in structure to really interest me. Too many of the songs don´t stand out either and I simply don´t remember them after I´ve finished listening to the album. It´s about the same problem I had with the debut. Listening to Shadows in the Deep also makes me wish that Unleashed had gone for a more raw production and brutal delivery, because to my ears the production lacks power and as a consequence the outcome isn´t brutal enough to satisfy me.

I know the band have many fans, who appreciate their style more than I do, but at least I´ve tried for nearly 20 years to find the charm. So I´ve given them a fair chance in my point of view. Overall Shadows in the Deep is an above average Swedish death metal release, but it seldom reaches excellence IMO. Therefore a 3 star rating is warranted.
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