Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine (Nuclear Blast)Sunday, 19th April 2015
Business as usual is a good way to describe the latest from Sweden’s death metal warriors of Unleashed. Capturing the momentum from 2012’s Odalheim, Dawn of the Nine has all of the pieces that you crave from the band. With 25 years of experience behind their approach, Unleashed know their formula and they excel at it.
One of death metal’s first bands to dig into Viking lore instead of the traditional gore, Unleashed continue to make it appealing. Tracks like “The Bolt Thrower,” “Let the Hammer Fly,” and “Welcome the Son of Thor!” are quite clear in their direction, and with Johnny Hedlund’s killer vocals, it’s hard not to sing along with his sense of urgency he soaks the lyrics in. “They Came to Die” and “Where is Your God Now?” are both excellent examples of this. Unleashed’s approach to death metal keeps things brutal, but more than enough melody to get the listener invested. Lead-off track “A New Day Will Rise” should give you a pretty good example of what to expect for the remainder of the affair, executing a battering ram of straight-forward yet intriguing riffs and thundering drums. It’s an effective approach to “old school” death metal, yet it never sounds as such and that gives it some room to work with compared to some of their old compatriots.
While “business as usual” does very much apply to Dawn of the Nine, there’s no reason to make anyone think that Unleashed isn’t up to snuff. Consistency has been the name of their game, and their latest effort does nothing to change that. No one is expecting dramatic changes with twelve albums now under their belt, and nor should they. Dawn of the Nine is solid and Unleashed continue on their war march ever onwards.