UNLEASHED - Hammer Battalion

Unleashed - Hammer Battalion

13 songs
44:34 minutes
***** ****
Steamhammer / SPV

Bandpage

Unleashed were not only one of the first bands to help define the Scandinavian death metal genre in the early Nineties, but after nearly twenty years of existence, they can count themselves among the most influential death metal bands ever. Their new and ninth studio album Hammer Battalion underlines their status. Don’t expect any changes, though, because once a band has found their distinctive style, why should they water it down?

Unleashed cram thirteen songs into three quarters of an hour of music, which makes clear that they don’t clutter their compositions with unnecessary ballast. The opener The Greatest Of All Lies is an explosive start into an album whose mission it is to deliver high speed death metal tracks with a punkish energy and Johnny Hedlund’s gravelly trademark vocals. The lyrics are sometimes fervently anti-Christian, and sometimes narrate Northern mythologies, and despite having a Satanic cross in their band logo, the band does without any of those clichés.

You won’t find anything bad on Hammer Battalion, although other highlights pop up regularly on the album, like the steaming title track and Home Of The Brave towards the end of the album. Unleashed have managed once again to consolidate their reputation as one of the best and most important death metal bands ever, although I suspect that with three songs less, Hammer Battalion would have become an even more compact album. But let’s not complain because I can’t think of many other bands able to come up with such a sizzling piece of extreme metal, especially after so many years around.

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