Reviewed: April 2000
Released: 1999, Verdict Entertainment
Unleashed Power have returned with a new EP offering up five songs and five more reasons for me to ponder why this band is not signed to a label! In case you live under a rock – these guys are from the US and they play aggressive metal without EVER resulting to any trendy sounds. This is pure American metal as it should be!
The Absorbed EP essentially continues on from where 1997’s Mindfailure left off. Most of this album was recorded during the Mindfailure recording sessions. The title track on the CD is new and hints at the direction that the band will head in on their next album. As expected, guitarist Ken Jacobsen is in fine shape, especially in the rhythm guitar department. A lot of the riffs employ the pedal tone in the structure (unless your a guitar geek you mightn’t have a clue as to what that is). The guitar has a super crunch happening and totally screams out METAL!!!! The leads, while being played well, are not always as interesting. For example, the lead on the track “Absorbed” sounds a little out of place and thin. Not that it wasn’t played well, it just didn’t seem to fit. However, the solo on the intense track “Perpetrator of Dreams” fits the song perfectly even though it had a weird sound effect on it. The lyrics to “Absorbed” are very cool. They deal with individuality and the notion of how some people are absorbed by the norm – “Absorbed by fear, absorbed by trends.” We have no worries about Unleashed Power conforming to the norm! The EP’s second track “Calendar” begins with a clean part that thankfully quickly gives way to an amazing riff. The vocals here are very cool and features Unleashed Power’s signature “evil vibrato” courtesy of ex-vocalist Brian T. Chaffee. His vibrato technique just cannot be imitated with words – if you’ve heard the band you’ll know what I’m referring to. All the vocals on this EP are melodic yet abrasive. There are actually TWO vocalists on this EP – the already mentioned Brian T. Chaffee and newcomer Len Jarrell. The EP’s first and last track are sung by Len who is the new vocalist for Unleashed Power. The remaining three were handled by Brian T. Chaffee who was also the vocalist on Mindfailure. Surprisingly, unless you’re really looking for it, the two sound a lot alike! Len’s voice isn’t quite as deep sounding as Brian’s. A full CD with Len on vocals is of course required before you can really compare the two. The other cool thing about this EP for me (being such a big fan of Stratovarius) are that the drums are again handled by Jörg Michael! Jörg also played the drums on Mindfailure. Unleashed Power has little in common with Strato – but I’m sure fans of more intense technical power metal and melodic thrash will eat this up.
Anyone who thinks that US metal has evaporated need to check out Unleashed Power. A fitting name and a fitting band who have the potential to make a much larger impact on the metal world. Keep your eyes and ears open for this band and check out their official website at www.unleashedpower.com
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