Unleashed – Dawn Of The Nine

Unleashed
Dawn Of The Nine
Death metal
Released 24th April 2015
Via Nuclear Blast Records

Unleashed - Dawn Of The Nine

Despite this being the 12th album from Swedes,Unleashed, it’s actually the first one I’ve stumbled across, so this is fresh territory for me. In the first few seconds of Dawn Of The Nine, I thought I was facing down a well-executed yet slightly predictable death metal release, which, to be honest, can be quite tricky to review fairly. Thankfully, I was wrong, and this actually a many-faceted affair, taking the listener on some unexpected – and sometimes very technical – twists and turns. The root of all evil herein really is traditional death metal, pasted with the remnants of early Massacre, Possessed, and even a hint of Entombed’s Clandestine or Left Hand Path. That’s not to say this isn’t a modern album, it just takes the meat from current extreme music trends without the fat.

Listening back through their back catalogue, something Unleashed seem to have been prepared to embrace from the very beginning is the texture that other metal sub-genres can bring to straight out death. They don’t shy away from a bit of bouncing doom, or a smidge of melo-death, and there are some excellent moments of epic, atmospheric blackness, merging into progressive death. The vocals are exemplary in their clarity, adding to the effect of the consistently memorable-yet-heavy chorus lines. It’s not all deathly derivations, though; there are times scattered throughout ‘Dawn…’ which seem to be more like transcribed classical movements than music originating from the metalsphere, and the technique familiar to both styles shines through with its sparing use.

For someone like myself, a newcomer to the Unleashed universe, this is a superb introduction, though I would strongly advise others to also dig into their older material. There is a wealth of enjoyment to be scoured from throughout this band’s career, and this latest opus is simply another cherry on the icing. In a perfect world, it would see them firmly planted on everyone’s radar alongside Bloodbath, but that doesn’t matter; this is a crushing artistic statement, crafted for connoisseurs of extreme metal, standing monolithic in its own right.

4.5/5

by Paul Macmillan

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