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Unleashed - Sworn Allegiance (CD)

Sworn Allegiance
by Thodoris Pantazopoulos at 14 August 2004, 6:11 PM

I couldn't resist starting the intro of this review by commenting the rather provocative album title, compared to its musical content. It is widely known that as a band, the Swedish veterans Unleashed are an indisputable example of stability and labor loyalty. They count almost 15 years in the same record company (Century Media), equal years in amount with the identical line-up, but I'm afraid that for the second time in their career (after 1997's Warrior) they've spoiled their reputation which had been so worthy held until now, as far as their music is concerned.
I personally enjoyed their semi-epic Death Metal style that was never that technical and complex, but always essential and uprising. Especially albums like Where No Life Dwells (1991), Across The Open Sea (1993) and the latest remarkable Hell's Unleashed (2002) hold a sacred place in my precious album collection.
Sworn Allegiance is partially satisfying and that's easily apprehended from the very first listening. The first half of the album is impressing; the songs might have a simple structure but they are high-powered as hell and the riffing, though naïve kicks ass. I can't say that they show a great resemblance to what the band used to in the past but they still deliver good music so that's enough for me.
Unfortunately, the listening session wasn't over. There were 6 songs left to be heard which, I must admit, modified dramatically my point of view on Sworn Allegiance. Uninspired, boring, tiring and 'flat' songs that could only work out as bonus tracks or b-sides and not having a basic role in the play-list. Not to mention the track Metalheads…for God's sake, I couldn't breathe because of hysteric laughter after listening to lyrics such as Come on clap your hands, yeah clap your hands true metalheads. With songs like this the band hacks to pieces it's great past image, which was the last thing to expect from a group with virtue like Unleashed.
Conclusively, Sworn Allegiance is an album that will appease a huge share of Metal fans, but none to the maximum point. The band, in their effort to acquire a more modern sound (and possibly gaining more fans) present a very confusing album which blends Punk, Hardcore, Death, Rock n Roll and Heavy Metal but serves it in an inelegant way. If 6 songs are enough for you to purchase an album, go get it. After all, it's a pity that the first sublime compositions get crushed under the dominant mediocrity of this album. On the other hand, if you are a stern listener you'd better stay away from Sworn Allegiance. I guarantee you that you can live without it.

2 Star Rating

Destruction (Of The Race Of Men)
Only The Dead
The Longships Are Coming
Insane For Blood
I Bring You Death
One Night In Nazareth
Praised Be The Lord
To Miklagard
Long Live The Beast
Johnny Hedlund - Bass & Vocals  
Fredrik Lindgren - Guitars   
Thomas Olsson - Guitars  
Anders Schultz - Drums
Record Label: Century Media Records


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