Style: Blackened Viking Death Metal
Release date: 20 April, 2012
Playing time: 42:57

'Midwinter Blot' was the album that really broke Unleashed for me. It is a wonderful album of viking death metal hymns; powerful and catchy, just perfect. 'As Yggdrasil Trembles' from 2010 was much in the same vein, however a little less catchy than its predecessor.

And what of Unleashed anno 2012? Well, faster and harder would be the first descriptive words I'd use. Johnny Hedlund and his merry men have found an extra keg of powder and transformed it into a round of death metal salvos with a indismissal stint of black metal. Yet, fear not, hymn freaks! The hymnical aspect is far from gone with the advent of 'Odalheim'. There are indeed mighty tunes still which call for voices to be raised high in the night.

Take for example the title track of the album with its inciting chorus, the repeated 'Rise Odalheim!' Rise of the Mayan Warriors has the same kind of sing-along potential. Or take the call to the men at arms that is Gathering the Battalions. Furious piece, that!

At the same time, there is also room for mellow, acoustic intros for the tunes The Hour of Defeat (a song that otherwise lends a great deal from melodic death), By Celtic and British Shores, The Soil of Our Fathers (Spanish inspired intro, by the way) and Germania (well-suited for festivals in Germany, I reckon, eh, eh?).

Vinland also holds an acoustic intro, and a fairly weird one, before hammering through with a relentless wall of death metal.
Those of you who know me know that I like a bit of diversity, and it is primarily via the acoustic parts that Unleashed provides that variation from the merciless blackened death barrage.

Conclusion: The campaign continues. Unleashed is still in good shape after a career of over 20 years and their metal as relentless as we'd expect it to be. Go buy!

01. Fimbulwinter (4:11)
02. Odalheim (4:29)
03. White Christ (3:12)
04. The Hour of Defeat (3:08)
05. Gathering the Battalions (3:06)
06. Vinland (3:58)
07. Rise of the Maya Warriors (2:40)
08. By Celtic and British Shores (3:49)
09. The Soil of Our Fathers (4:55)
10. Germania (3:33)
11. The Great Battle of Odalheim (5:51
Label: Nuclear Blast
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Artwork rating: 60/100
Reviewed by: Thomas Nielsen
Date: 24 April, 2012
Website: www.unleashed.se