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Class 6(66)

Unleashed: Where no life dwellsUnleashed: Where no life dwells

30/03/09  ||  Daemonomania

Released: 1991

Introduction

Another fucken Swedeath classic that remains unloved at GD – UNTIL NOW. That’s right ladies and gentlebeasts, this is one of those albums that no self-disrespecting metalhead should be without. In my quest to round out my collection spawned by the country in question during the time period in question, I laid my jizzy mitts on a copy of “Where no life dwells” a couple years ago. While it took a while to sink in, these days a big grin spreads over my face like an allergic reaction whenever one of these nasty genital grinders starts playing. If Entombed is the penis and Grave is the scrotum, Unleashed proudly occupies the ‘taint/anus region.

Songwriting

8. Fast, galloping sections interspersed with slow, doomy sections. This is death metal, Sweden, the early ‘90’s. If you don’t know what it sounds like already, you’re a dickhead and should probably just quit listening to music altogether. Yes, this is not songwriting rocket science but no one has truly managed to replicate the brutality by way of simplicity that innovators like Unleashed were able to conjure effortlessly. On a side note, I like the straight-ahead deathery they employed here much more than the more experimental ideas they incorporated on follow-ups “Shadows…” and “Across…”.

Production

9. I got me a re-issue here, so not sure if this disc received a cleanup or not. Hopefully not. I wouldn’t have “WNLD” any other way. Crunchy, nasty – like a bowlful of cornflakes that has been infested with dying wasp larvae. It sounds quite Sunlight, but was actually recorded in Germany. The re-issue has the “…And the laughter has died” demo pasted on the end, and the sound of those tracks is even crunchier. Mmmm, delicious.

Guitars

7.5. Chock full of those riffs you know and love, that have been stolen many times since. I don’t think the riffs are quite as tightly executed or as numerous as their contemporaries in Entombed or Grave, but still well done. Solos are actually pretty well done considering the nature of the music. One riff in particular I’d like to point out pops up in the fantastic slow section of “The dark one” – Kaamos among others got the five finger discount on this shit without a doubt.

Vocals

7. Mr. Hedlund is certainly an acquired taste. And I’ve acquired it, but it make take some time for those used to more conventional deathgrunts. A bit more hoarse, a bit nastier – I’d say there’s a Van Drunen vibe going on here with the occasional sashay into lower growling. More than occasional. I’ll say frequent sashaying with a hint of shimmying.

Bass

7. I can definitely make it out for once, if I’m not mistaken. It scrambles to keep up in the fast parts, and just aids to the swinging bombast of the doom sections. Always nice to hear you little guy, now run along and help out a few black metal bands!

Drums

6. Polka, polka, polka, thrash, polka, polka, polka, rolling double bass over slow riff, thrash, thrash, polka. You get all that?

Lyrics

8. “I am the asexual”, eh? Sure you are, pal. Go hang out with Ziggy Stardust and keep me posted on your relative androgyny. Anyway, these are pretty damn good lyrics at the time period, and if I’m not mistaken gave rise to a lot of the Viking imagery that has since been so prevalent. We’ve got what sounds like some Nordic mythology, some death-dealing, a chunk of warrior asskicking, some Tolkein, and that’s about it.

Cover art

2. Long ago someone might have thought this looked cool. Like maybe if it was painted on a cave wall. By a quadriplegic caveman. No longer.

Logo:

10. I’ve always loved the Unleashed logo – spiderwebbed, evil, giant upside-down cross right in the fucking middle. Nice job. You can clearly see where Bloodbath got their design from. Doesn’t anyone owe Unleashed some royalties for all of this thievery?

Booklet:

8. Not sure what the original looked like, but my reissue is filled with bandmember testimonials, fun facts, lyrics, etc. Quite informative – good job for once, Century Media.

Overall and ending rant

8. If you know and love the sounds of Sweden in its golden age, this album should already be near and dear to your heart. Sure these dudes fell off for a long time in the middle of their career, but who the fuck doesn’t? You owe it to yourself to pick up “Where no life dwells” to simply soak up the no frills, brutal ambiance of when Vikings ruled the waves, Christian heads were chopped the hell off, and beer flowed like, uh, wine. Unless you hate death metal, I cannot think of a single reason not to have this little piece of history in your collection. And if you hate death metal, well, let me know where your ass dwells and I’ll unleash violent ecstasy upon thee, and you shall be slain. You will be dead forever, your house will be where life ends, your laughter (and you) will die. Then onward, into a gloryhole I will ride. Yeah.

  • Information
  • Label: Century Media
  • Website: www.unleashed.se
  • Band
  • Johnny Hedlund: vocals, bass
  • Fredrik Lindgren: lead guitars
  • Anders Schultz: drums
  • Thomas Olsson: guitars
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Where No Life Dwells
  • 02. Dead Forever
  • 03. Before the Creation of Time
  • 04. For They Shall Be Slain
  • 05. If They Had Eyes
  • 06. The Dark One
  • 07. Into Glory Ride
  • 08. … and the Laughter Has Died
  • 09. Unleashed
  • 10. Violent Ecstasy
  • 11. Where Life Ends