Released: 2008, Steamhammer/SPV/Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Once again, troop leader Hedlund has gathered his men to unleash the follow up album to the highly acclaimed 2006 release MIDVINTERBLOT. In between releases, the band has been out on tour in both Europe and North America. Now it is time to unveil their new creation and the masterpiece is called HAMMER BATTALION. Unleashed has spread their Viking old school death metal across the world for about 20 years now and they are one of the pioneers within the Swedish death metal scene.
Swedish old school death metal is exactly what is played on HAMMER BATTALION. The music is both complex and very technical and executed in the highest tempo possible. They haven’t compromised an inch on their sound and they sound as they always have done. Well, except from a few minor changes that it. The band has added a few calmer passages in some songs as well as added some twin guitar play. Despite the minor changes the band hasn’t changed their sound at all, only refined it.
13 new songs are squeezed into 45 minutes and as always the lyrics are about Vikings. The material feels fresh and up to date. The music is extremely heavy and just amazing. The album feels aggressive and is presenting the essence of what Unleashed is all about. Fredrik Folkare has produced the album in Chrome Studio in Stockholm Sweden and I have nothing negative to say about this masterpiece of production. It’s a massive wall of aggression, brutality and speed that runs over you when you push play.
I can’t but love and salute Unleashed who once again have proven that they are one of this genres best bands ever. Every single fan of the band is gonna love this jaw-breaking disc. If you want to OD on Swedish old school death metal then HAMMER BATTALION is something for you! This is a must-buy album this year.