Saturday, April 20, 2024

Review: Unleashed – Dawn of the Nine

Unleashed are among the earliest founders of the Swedish death metal scene, alongside classic acts such as Entombed and Dismember. Dawn of the Nine is their twelfth studio album in their 26 year long career, and they haven’t lost any of their drive.

Right away the opening track ‘A New Day Will Rise’ charges forward like a freight train. Bassist & vocalist Johnny Hedlund’s raw, throaty snarl harkens back to the early days of death metal. He pushes his voice to its natural limits while allowing himself space to emote and fluctuate his growl to varying intensities. It’s an attention-grabbing change to modern trends in well-polished fry screams taught by metal vocal coaches. (Yes, that’s a thing)

‘They Came To Die’ is a solid headbanger with a classic shredding solo, while ‘Defenders of Midgard’ slows down into a mid-paced, stompy war march. The lead single, ‘Where Is Your God Now‘, is by far the catchiest song on the album, and will no doubt become a staple at live shows.

The title track, second to last, stands out as the most unique song on the album, slowing right down with clean leads and Hedlund delivering his lines in a much quieter, but no less menacing tone. It’s a moody and atmospheric track, which feels very much inspired by Black Sabbath.

The final track, ‘Welcome the Son of Thor’, is a worthy climax to the riveting ride the album offers. The driving riffs and pounding rhythms are accompanied by a soaring lead melody, which carries the album to its dissonant and eerie end.

Dawn of the Nine is an energetic, heavy and powerful release, and stands as testament to Unleashed’s long career. Though it’s not necessarily ground-breaking, it doesn’t need to be. It’s a flat out, no nonsense Swedish death metal record, and its crisp, contemporary production puts it shoulder to shoulder with the biggest names in modern extreme metal.

Unleashed Dawn of the Nine is out now via Nuclear Blast Records.

Dane Pavitt
Dane Pavitt
Based in sunny Stoke-on-Trent, lover of music, movies, science, cider, and DJ at Blastwave, one of the UK's only regular extreme metal clubnights

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