Unanimated – Victory in Blood (Century Media)

Wednesday, 1st December 2021
Rating: 8/10

One of those cult acts associated with the early days of the Gothenburg scene, Unanimated never really reached that same level as their peers in say In Flames or At the Gates.  But the band made some waves for their melodic death/black sound with two albums in the ‘90s and then a warmly welcomed reunion back for 2009’s In the Light of Darkness. So to say it’s been a bit between albums is an understatement for sure, but Unanimated have finally returned with their fourth album, Victory in Blood.

That cold, buzzing Swedish black/death feel is ever-present as the title track opens things up.  With all of today’s black metal offshoots, it’s a pleasant return to hear something more vintage and ‘pure’ in a manner of speaking.  Unanimated crank out plenty of blastbeats for the listener to enjoy and rile themselves up with, but as one of Gothenburg’s finest, you can expect some dazzling melodies to weave their way in as well.  That’s the key to what makes Unanimated work as well as it does.  “Demon Pact” is an absolute blackened battering ram of a track at the onset, with high-flying tremolo melodies and buzzing riffs atop blasts galore, but the music almost tickles the ears at points with catchiness.  Particularly when said track slows down to enter more glorious/triumphant territory, it really grabs your attention with the sweet details that accompany the undeniably heavy sound.  Even a short song like “Divine Hunger” does a great job of keeping itself memorable, with rumbling melodies to accompany the scathing vocals and raging tempos.

A long time coming, Victory in Blood sees Unanimated continuing to raise the flag high for blackened death metal of the melodic type.  An underrated act that hopefully gets some exposure with this release, as there’s not many around playing this style of black metal at such a high caliber.

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