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April 2005
Released: 2005, Sound Riot Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

Who says that hard work and determination don’t pay off? Don’t tell Swedish band Unchained that hard work and determination aren’t good things because 2005 finally sees the band release their first self titled album on Sound Riot Records. Began in 1999, Unchained transversed a rocky road that saw numerous member changes, break ups and reformations which culminated in band solidifying their line-up and heading into Pama Studio 3.with Daniel Johnsson and David Blome to record UNCHAINED. Containing only 9 songs UNCHAINED doesn’t waste time with filler tracks and instead serves up 9 melodic metal tunes that highlight their melody and also their homage to some of metals great like Maiden and Dio and old Europe.

“My Guide” opens the disc with some Maiden inspired guitar harmonies and continues with the trademark Maiden gallop. But I don’t want to leave the impression that Unchained worship at the altar of Maiden. That is far from the case. They might allow their influences to split through occasionally but the band is crafted and executing melodic metal in a way that few bands are doing today. “Ghost of the Alchemic Hall” is one of the songs that is a hold over from the band’s LIKE THE CANDLE demo which surfaced in 2002. Axemen Blome and Ericsson shine on this track as they trade off ripping solos as the first hints of the dynamic range of vocalist Per Karlsson is heard. He should definitely stretch it out a bit more as it adds some great colouring to the bands sound. One of the more surprising tracks on the CD is the power ballad “I Dream”. It has a real 70s bluesy vibe that brings a new element to the sound of Unchained and really helps to compliment the rest of the disc. “Seventh Sin” closes out the CD on a powerful note that really left this writer wishing that the CD was more than 9 songs.

It takes a lot these days to make it in the overcrowded metal marketplace. New technology allows almost any band to produce and release CDs and the internet has allowed fans unprecedented access to music that only a little over a decade ago could only be found in the collections of avid underground tape traders. To make your mark these days takes more than just the ability to play your instruments. It takes creativity, perseverance and even a little luck. Unchained seems to have brought all three together and with a little more of the 3 aforementioned attributes the band look to have a promising career ahead of them.
Track Listing

My Guide
The Analyst
Ghost Of The Alchemic Hall
Theater Of Fear
I Dream
Ordinary Sinner
Like The Candle
The Great Witch Hunt
Seventh Sin


Per Karlsson – Vocals
David Blome – Guitars
Peter Ericsson – Guitars
Martin Michaelsson – Drums

Keyboards: Joel Sjövik
Additional Bass: Mathias Eriksson & David Blome



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» Unchained
by Rick

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