Label: Nuclear Blast
Release date: April 20th 2012
No need to introduce Unleashed, given birth at the end of the eighties; actually formed when Nihilist split-up. Most Nihilist-members continued as Entombed, but Johnny Hedlund started Unleashed. Therefore: hail Johnny!
One of my favourite bands from Sweden since the creation of deadly metals. Influential in their Old School approach, brutal in a truly Scandinavian sense, epic and melodic on top to canalise war-lust and pride unto (into) musical creativity. I do appreciate every former release, without exceptions (even though I think some records are better than certain others) and one cannot deny the influence and importance this band had, and still has, for a satisfying definition of Swedish Death Metal specifically, and Extreme Metal in general. Together with, for example, This Ending and, of course, Amon Amarth, lords of Death Epic, just like that…
Odalheim, forty three minutes, not re-inventing anything at all, yet gloriously (and mercilessly) building forth on their majestic predecessors. Nothing new, nothing renewing, no re-invention of past glories, yet perfecting Tradition. And in the case of Odalheim it goes for every single song, for every single second of the album. It really is incredible how a bunch of such an old guys (haha, just joking, just playing with your dignity and, I guess, my life???) still is able to do the same thing as decades ago, just better, stronger, braver.
Odalheim does not necessarily come with highlights. Odalheim does not need to. Odalheim is a collection of individual top-efforts, rather cohesive, and with a perfectly keened equilibrium between aggression and melody. Or what did you expect?
Pfff, just listen to this album and you’ll get the point. Why spending time on trying to define what it is all standing for, if this musical experience exposes its own definition of Majesty?... Another milestone in Unleashed’s raison d’être!
(ps: the story once started with As Yggdrasil Trembles (2010) and finds its continuation right here, after Fimbul Vinter’s despair – for the fans of Nordic mythology)