Genre: Death Metal
Label: Napalm Records
Unleashed strikes back with their 14th studio album 4 years after their latest work, once again in Napalm Records. Based on an unpublished novel book written by vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund, “No Sign Of Life” is a concept album and actually is the fifth chapter in Hedlund’s “Odalheim” saga that started back in 2012. Is about surviving and the struggle in order to do it and al the dark moments when you lose faith and things getting worst and you try to not give up the fight. Truth be told the lyrics are very important to this album in order to get fully in its atmosphere but music can stand on its own too. Easily one could accuse Unleashed for playing it safe as musically speaking their new album is thrash-based, blended with melo-death guitars occasionally, simple song writing using an old school motif and some small doses of hardcore/death ‘n’ roll sound as they sounded in late ‘90s. But the quality of the songs is top-notch making the album’s listening a guilty pleasure of stubborn death metal. But who cares for new tricks or progress, when songs are full of catchy choruses, brave solos, epic lead parts and ultra ferocity that pummel your ears and are damn so effective. The whole album in its entirety seems like a huge Rocky Mountain. Don’t forget that Unleashed has a solid line-up that is together for so many years as since 1989, Johnny Hedlund (bass/vocals, ex-Nihilist) and Anders Schultz (drums, Unanimated) have bonded welcoming Tomas Olsson (guitar, ex-Julie Laughs Nomore) in 1990 and Fredrik Folkare (guitar, Firespawn, Dead Kosmonaut, ex-Necrophobic) in 1995. So the final result has a cement cohesion. The album starts aggressively with the old school hymn “The King Lost His Crown”, and follows in the same vein with the groovy “The Shepherd Has Left the Flock” and the full of energy “Where Can You Flee”. Warlike epic “You Are the Warrior” is a bit darker and slower then “No Sign of Life” with its fast-paced tempo makes your blood boiling leading to “The Highest Ideal” with its frozen guitars and cold melodies. “Midgard Warriors for Life” is a typical anthemic Unleashed composition, “Dissonant” has excellent epic riffs and solos, “Did You Struggle with God” is again fast paced and up-tempo such as “Tyr Wields the Sword”. Just before “It Is Finished” is the last breath before the fast and vicious attack of the closer “Here at the End of the World”. “No Sign Of Life” is a decent value for money LP that will please their fans with its straightforward top notch quality compositions that are full of Viking imagery, melody and aggressive attitude.