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UNLEASHED
UNLEASHED
Hell's Unleashed
(Century Media Records)
46:17min

After the rather disappointing last album "Warrior" I didn't care too much about UNLEASHED anymore... And it seems that many of you saw things in a similar way as the success of this Swedish bunch was more and more fading away and as a result the members decided to put the band on hold for a while. A clever decision, cause Death Metal is back on track in 2002, so after five years of silence they finally returned to the scene with an album that easily lives up to the better standards of their own musical past. "Hell's Unleashed" combines all the typical trademarks of their earlier releases: Johnny's charismatic raw vocal delivery, the straight ahead and simple drumming and typical riffing. The musical variety should also easily satisfy every old UNLEASHED maniac, as they once again have come up with slow, midtempo and fast material in the usual balanced way. The production is good and the cover simple, yet very effective (their band logo is still one of the strongest, even today...). So, if you not necessarily connect UNLEASHED with their undergroundish, pre - "Where No Life Dwells" material exclusively you can easily pick this up again and worship their comeback. UNLEASHED never had the intention to be the fastest, most brutal or evil band around and their overall attitude and musical direction reminds me more and more on what VENOM represented in the 80s. It's more than obvious that UNLEASHED is a lot closer to early Thrash than Death Metal and the lyrics to 'Joy In The Sun' also seem to have a similar humoristic approach as what Cronos partly used to come up with. But while VENOM was always on the chaotic edge to Punk, UNLEASHED have found their place amidst traditional Heavy Metal, Thrash and Death Metal. And that's more than fine with me.

Frank Stöver

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