Published Oct 25, 2018Perplexing album title aside, Unleashed are about as solid as it gets. The band's icy Swedish death metal sound has been largely unchanged for almost three decades, and The Hunt for White Christ is no exception. "Lead Us Into War," "Stand Your Ground" and "By The Western Wall" are all essential listening for even the most casual death metal fans. With riffs and production straight from the genre's heyday, you really couldn't ask for more.
Almost uniquely among the bands of their era, Unleashed have kept a steady lineup since 1996. This has led to an unspoken unity within the band that is the key to some of their success. Everyone knows exactly where and (more importantly) where not to be at any given moment. Through breakneck changes and dizzying guitar fretwork, they move as one singular entity, treading a line between Morbid Angel and Demigod-era Behemoth. The lack of keyboards or other overproduced orchestration makes it feel all the more authentic.
There's little in the music to explain the album's title. Unleashed have never shown the slightest inclination towards Burzum-esque NSBM, and the title track is about Vikings. We'll chalk it up as lost in translation, but many will rightly ask questions. Unleashed might want to head that particular storm off before it arrives, because The Hunt for White Christ is too good to be sullied by a miscommunication. (Napalm)