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Unleashed | Midvinterblot | review | metal | Lollipop

Unleashed

Midvinterblot (SPV)
by Martin Popoff

Unleashed were in danger with their last couple of records - especially Hell's Unleashed - of becoming just too damn smile-cracking and fun, a Witchery for the Entombed set. Personally, I was on board with every metaller-than-thou ironic bit, as well as the band's simplified cutting to the hook-bound chase. Midvinterblot is a different kettle of fish, though. Recording more viciously, playing faster, and putting more Viking elbow grease into the riff-writing, this is the work of an Unleashed looking for an extra tenner of cred. Check out "We Must Join With Him" and "The Witch" for the cogent balance of sophistication and irresistible headbanging groove one expects (and gets) out of Amon Amarth. But elsewhere, speeds are Slayer-esque, fast but old school and smoothly executed due to superior drumming firepower. Johnny Hedlund's still a crack-up though, just not as often. The choruses of "This Is Our World Now" and "We Must Join With Him" possess all the charming plainspeak we expect from this neo-Viking mead-guzzler, who actually has one of the great extreme metal voices currently belting out sea shanties on the longship of life.
(www.spvusa.com)

 


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