Album Review: Unleashed’s Dawn of the Nine
We’ve likely all had the experience of telling someone outside of the scene that we listen to metal and receiving a less-than-forthcoming, perhaps even aghast response. And admittedly, maybe there should be some level of understanding afforded to laypeople uninitiated to heavy music who simply view metal as a one-dimensional genre of loudness.
But aggressive music can (and usually does) extend far beyond scary dudes blasting their guitars at top volume and a beastly frontperson screaming in your face about something of a dark Satanic ilk. Sure, to many of us these attributes are absolutely some of the most important components of heavy music, but for tons of metalheads the genre represents so much more diversity — both personally and musically, although I am talking about the latter at the moment.
However, there are plenty of bands that really do symbolize the stereotype un-heavy folks think of when they hear the word “metal”. And in many ways, perhaps these kinds of groups typify a more traditional and (dare I say) pure form of sonic aggression that will probably make us all want to throw devil’s horns in the air.
Unleashed is one such band, and on Dawn of the Nine, the Swedish death metallers’ twelfth studio album, there is a plethora of unbridled yet straightforward thunder to get the devil’s juices flowing.
From the tracklist alone, it is obvious that these guys mean business in an undeniably tr00 metal sense. Song names like “They Came To Die,” “Let The Hammer Fly,” and of course “Welcome The Son Of Thor!” aren’t pretending for a second like they don’t have every intention of kicking your ass.
And naturally, they do. From opener “A New Day Will Rise” on, there is minimal respite from the full-on, brutal assault of uptempo, ultra-precise tech-death drumming and expert riffage/shreddy guitar soloing that will melt just about any face. No, this isn’t the smartest collection of tunes you’ll hear this year, but it certainly ain’t the dumbest either, and there is a tasteful simplicity to the album’s stripped-down songwriting.
Fun fact: Hedlund was almost the vocalist for Dave Grohl’s Probot project until the Grohlster (or his
scapegoat producer Matt Sweeney) got spooked by allegations that Hedlund was a Nazi sympathizer — which Hedlund quickly debunked by saying “Unleashed praises nature, beast and man…regardless of background, place of birth or color of the skin.”Unleashed aren’t necessarily breaking the mold on Dawn Of The Nine, but this is an album chock full of solid, substantial metal with a capital M that is very well put together for what it is by highly experienced musicians. Almost every song here will get you seriously amped and induce the desire to drink mead (or blood) out of a hollowed skull, pledge allegiance to our dark lord, and single-handedly fight an army of the undead.Which we could all use a bit more of in our lives.
Unleashed’s Dawn of the Nine is out now on Nuclear Blast. You can listen to the track “Where is Your God Now?” here and buy the album here.