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Unleashed - The Hunt for White Christ Award winner

The Hunt for White Christ
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 10 December 2018, 6:08 AM

Swedish Death Metal legends UNLEASHED have been playing the genre for almost 30 years. To be so far into a career and still have what it takes makes their 13th album “The Hunt For White Christ,” a bold statement. This album continues to story line that focuses on the world of Odelheim; by this point, despite what story they may be telling, you know what to expect lyrically from Johnny and Co. Musically, the band drives home on this album the sound of old school Swedish Death Metal sound but with a heavier leaning on both melody and even some black metal elements. Still, UNLEASHED still find time to throw in some signature groove, creating an album that has a lot of diversity for its genre but still sounds cohesive straight throughout.

Johnny Hedlund just gets better with age; both his growls and bass are top notch and constant highlights. The first track, “Lead Us Into War,” is pretty straight forward Death Metal and it is a rager of a track. Placing this one as the beginning definitely gives the album instant gratification and a great overview of the tracks to come. Track four, “Gram,” is when they start to mix things up especially with the riffs that are as much in common with Black as they are Death Metal. Anders' drumming is as lighting fast, combining the intensity of UNLEASHED’s sound with the furious storm of bands that take a more blackened approach. “They Rape The Land,” is one of my favorite tracks on the album because it effortlessly mixes groove with blackened tendencies, showcasing guitarists Fredrik and Tomas' ability to weave in and out of styles.

The album finishes strong with the last two tracks; “By The Western Wall,” is a slower, more methodical song. The heavier, more slumbering parts are placed in between the faster intensity and it gives the track a very dynamic feel. “Open To All The World,” consists of wonderfully melodic riffs that showcase the beginning moments. A chugging groove finds its way around those riffs; the song definitely has a certain energy to it that cannot be denied. I really enjoyed this album and, honestly, I would put it among the band’s best. It doesn’t break any new ground and it won’t blow anyone away who isn’t already a fan but if you like the band and/or Swedish Death Metal (and who doesn’t, really?) this album should be on your radar. There is a constant flow of new bands coming but there is something satisfying when the original greats still have a lot to say.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Lead Us Into War
2. You Will Fall
3. Stand Your Ground
4. Gram
5. Terror Christ
6. They Rape The Land
7. The City of Jorsala Shall Fall
8. The Hunt for White Christ
9. Vidaurgelmthul
10. By The Western Wall
11. Open To All The World
Johnny Hedlund – Bass, Vocals
Anders Schultz – Drums
Fredrik Folkare – Guitars
Tomas Olsson – Guitars
Record Label: Napalm Records


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