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Unanimated – Victory in Blood Award winner

Unanimated
Victory in Blood
by Andrew Graham at 01 February 2022, 3:39 PM

Old-schoolers and newcomers alike, rejoice! Grizzled Swedish veterans UNANIMATED have returned to the realm of the living with a glorious follow-up to their 2009 return In The Light Of Darkness. Victory In Blood delivers on the expectations one might have of a near-legendary band seemingly resurrected from the brink of death, having disbanded in 1996 to return in 2007.

“Victory In Blood” bursts open with great tenacity and the characteristic UNANIMATED sound that would have been familiar to those who bought Ancient God Of Evil (1995) for the first time. Guitars fill out the soundscape against which Mikael’s vocals grate the ears and spew forth blackened filth – lovely! Jojje and Jonas’ guitar playing indulges in plenty of harmonies, tremolo riffs and dissonant arpeggios, truly filling the ears of the listener to the brim with unholy chaos. “Seven Mouths of Madness” dials up the Blackened element of their unique mix. The drumming remains tight here, relentless blastbeats relentlessly driving everything onwards. The chanting during the chorus is truly infectious, demanding the listener bray along!

The acoustic intro to “As The Night Takes Us” sounds, for all the world, like the opening notes of “Inquisition Symphony” from SEPULTURA’S Schizophrenia – same tone, same distressed vibe, very nostalgic! A hammering pace then kicks in, jerking the listener around with some odd timing here and there – after all, there’s more than one way to disconcert a listener! We're also treated to the first of two guest appearances: Set Teitan, former member of DISSECTION. “The Devil Rides Out” storms over the ears like a cavalry charge. Melodeath seems very good at evoking such an effect, comes perilously close to War metal or Viking metal, no? A lot of fun at any rate!

“XIII” slows the pace considerably, taking more of a turn to the Death metal side of things – an almost MORBID ANGEL tang can be detected by the discerning listener! An almost sweet acoustic mid-section, complete with guitar solo (courtesy of UNLEASHED’S Fredrik Folkare), rounds out the sound – we even get an almost Power metal section immediately after. A very wide base of expertise has clearly been developed over the years. “Scepter Of Vengeance” picks up the tempo again, blasting the ears with more blackened brutality. “The Golden Dawn Of Murder” has all the raw, youthful fury of such early Death metal titans as POSSESSED or early DEATH. It's difficult to not get nostalgic about it!

“Divine Hunger” is a short but sweet offering, possessing no less of the blasphemous bombast that has been displayed up to now. If anything, it serves as a kind of appetiser to final track “The Poetry Of The Scarred Earth”. We open with plenty of fanfare, which thunders through under the weight of its own momentum even through a quiet interlude section. Truly it is an epic finale to a thunderous return. I was first introduced to UNANIMATED years ago and had firmly placed them in the mental category of “cult classic, will probably never release another album”. I’m often wrong (I have no shame admitting that) and on this particular occasion I am exceedingly glad to have been proven wrong!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

 

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Victory In Blood
2. Seven Mouths of Madness
3. As The Night Takes Us
4. The Devil Rides Out
5. With a Cold Embrace
6. Demon Pact (Mysterium Tremendum)
7. XIII
8. Scepter Of Vengeance
9. Chaos Ascends
10. The Golden Dawn Of Murder
11. Divine Hunger
12. The Poetry Of The Scared Earth 
Lineup:
Mikael Broberg – Vocals
Jojje Bohlin – Guitar
Jonas Derouche – Guitar
Richard Cabeza – Bass
Anders Schultz – Drums 
Record Label: Century Media Records
     


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