Hailing from the depths of Sweden's rich and prosperous metal community, Unleashed have been releasing quality no filler Viking Death Metal since Where No Life Dwells hit shelves in 1991. Though even after a so far twenty year dominance and playing tours with some very big names in the Metal community Unleashed remains fairly unappreciated and ultimately unknown by the larger portion of metal fans world wide. Truly a shame as these gents define the saying "sticking to your roots" and have polished, mastered and enslaved their groovy yet brutal style of Death Metal.
Like most of the genre Unleashed favors the guitars and on As Yggdrasil Trembles guitarists Fredrik Folkare and Thomas Olsson steal the show. Utilizing captivating riffs that are both memorable and brutal as hell the music makes you want to grip up a sword and charge into battle. The leads are insanely above average such as the lengthy and face melting solo on the title track or the chaotic tapping heard on the eighth track "Return Fire". It all equals out to a sound not unlike that done by Amon Amarth, Viking Metal but without all the 'epic' or 'moody' filler of more flamboyant bands.
Founding member and skin man Anders Schultz puts down some quality beats and as usual keeps those double bass pedals well oiled on AYT. Through out the album Anders truly shows his years of experience and mastering of the drums with subtle but technical fills. On one track "Wir Kapitulieren Niemals" we find him letting loose and decimating his gear starting around the half way point of the track. All around an excellent example of Death Metal drumming at it's best by a seasoned vet of the art.
Johnny Hedlund the man whom brought these minds together to create this monster again calls upon the wrath within himself to deliver some truly guttural and powerful tones. As usual his Bass work goes for the most part unnoticed as the overpowering guitars demand attention however what you hear is quality, tight and as usual on point. The vocals are simple and to the point but therein lies this man's charm, he gets to his point and allows the music to speak for itself. Occasionally we hear his tone raise to a mid tone scream and there are a few parts where he uses vocal effects to accent the given track's mood but for the most part he sticks with his traditional deep growl.
I am sure you already know my opinion of this album and as you have guessed I am extremely pleased with the finished product. These guys haven't broken new ground or changed my life with their music however they have given me faith in the music I love, that there are bands out there that intend to stay the course and hold true to the music rather then downgrade to rake in new fans. Unleashed are a group that deserves respect from the Metal community and the fan base less talented, more popular bands enjoy.
All in all I can honestly say that As Yggdrasil Trembles is at the very top of my favorite releases of 2010 thus far. I highly recommend this album to ALL fans of Heavy Metal, regardless of your preferred genre. Thanks for reading and I hope that my review interested you enough to delve deeper into the history of Unleashed and ultimately support the band by purchasing this album as well as their past releases. Please support a supporter of the Metal community and click yes below. Thanks for reading, keep it metal.