Victory in Blood
Unanimated are not a prolific group, but again they prove they can produce material worth the wait and a cut above most of their peers. Victory in Blood is only their fourth full-length album since forming in 1988, and it’s a damn fine distillation of everything great about this pioneering band.
Along with fellow Swedes Dissection, Unanimated is one of the most influential bands to merge black and death metal and incorporate a dose of melodic sensibilities into the mix. While Dissection arguably made more of an impact before the band dissolved, Unanimated are no less important. Their second album, 1995s Ancient God of Evil, is considered a classic in the genre. The songwriting is excellent, taking their black/death formula and including quieter dynamics and elements of classic heavy metal in the flow of the album. Its follow-up, 2009s In the Light of Darkness, seemed to make less impact but was no less potent. These long gaps between albums may have hurt Unanimated’s potential to grow its fanbase. Regardless, Victory in Blood appears to show the band have lost none of their fire and has composed another compelling batch of material. Want blistering speed and aggression? Opener Victory in Blood, Seven Mouths of Madness, Scepter of Vengeance, Demon Pact (Mysterium Tremendum), and The Devil Rides Out have you covered. Mid-paced headbangers? As the Night Takes Us and XIII both swing, incorporating quiet acoustics and triumphant guitar solos. Speaking of acoustics, With a Cold Embrace is a beautiful track featuring some mournful clean vocals from Micke Broberg. His ability to convey different moods in the songs is truly an asset to the band. This song, along with Chaos Ascends, helps enhance the overall experience of the album as a whole. These beautiful moments help make the aggressive tracks that much more impactful. Finally, The Poetry of the Scared Earth fades in with a guitar part reminiscent of Judas Priest’s Victim of Changes. It’s the longest track here and the most epic, making it a hell of an album closer.
Victory in Blood may be Unanimated’s most aggressive album yet, with the majority of the tracks expertly balancing speed with soaring melodies. One of the things that makes this band so great is that they also know when to pump the breaks. It’s these other elements that have always helped them to craft memorable records. Victory in Blood is another victory for Unanimated. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait as long for the next album.
Pre-order Victory in Blood by UNANIMATED HERE