Unleashed – As Yggdrasil Trembles

Nuclear Blast
Produced by Fredrik Folkare

As Yggdrasil Trembles is the tenth studio album in roughly twice as many years for the veteran band Unleashed. To borrow from the lyrics of the track Wir Kapitulieren Niemals, this album is yet another healthy slab of "Viking death metal, yeah, Viking death metal!" from one of the progenitors of the genre.

Unleashed have been at this game for a long time now, and one might assume that after twenty-odd years, they may have changed their style somewhat, but much like other salty veterans in this and similar genres (bands such as Bolt Thrower and Amon Amarth come to mind), this is actually not the case. In addition, one might assume that not changing styles appreciably over such a time period might be the kiss of death, but again like those bands previously mentioned, this is not the case. Only the very best bands can, and in fact do, stick so closely to their original formula after so many years and still manage to keep the proceedings interesting…and such is the case with this album.

Every once in a great while some bands even manage to make things more interesting over such a time period. Enter As Yggdrasil Trembles. This album, of course, has its various highlights. For example tracks such as This Time We Fight, Return Fire, and especially the monstrous title track. However, the remaining tracks are anything but filler. Literally every other track on this album ranges in quality from "solid" to "excellent", and so this album is one of a rare breed that not only remains interesting throughout, but represents a true exclamation point as a pivotal album in a long and illustrious career for stalwart Swedes Unleashed.

All of the expected elements are present: fast, clean playing, harsh, yet quite intelligible vocals, a plentitude of solos and of course, piles and piles of highly compelling riffs. The whole package just works. It's fun, it's heavy, it's memorable, and primarily it invokes massive headbanging.

The album itself is an exclamation point as previously mentioned, and as an exclamation point on the exclamation point – the proverbial cherry on top – the musicians in Unleashed offer the listener a final treat after the last formal album track. A massively effective cover of the song Evil Dead from Death's breakout Scream Bloody Gore album. Few bands would even attempt to cover a song of such stature – not to mention doing so on their landmark tenth studio album – but Unleashed perform the track with all the style and confidence which has placed them at the top of the heap in the genre which they themselves helped to create.

Paying tribute to a band which was obviously a major influence to their work over the years, they unknowingly pay tribute to themselves as a band that is undoubtedly, and deservedly, destined for Valhalla

“ a pivotal album in a long and illustrious career ”

Tracklist: Courage Today, Victory Tomorrow! / So It Begins / As Yggdrasil Trembles / Wir Kapitulieren Niemals / This Time We Fight / Master of The Ancient Art / Chief Einherjar / Return Fire / Far Beyond Hell / Dead To Me / Yahweh And The Chosen Ones / Cannibalistic Epidemic Continues / Evil Dead

Written by Chris Poling
More: 2010, Albums, Death Metal,

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