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Review: Unleashed - Hammer Battalion
Hammer Battalion

Label: SPV
Year released: 2008
Duration: 44:34
Tracks: 13
Genre: Death Metal


Review online: May 5, 2008
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers' Rating
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Rated 2.83/5 (56.67%) (12 Votes)

Unleashed return to the unsavory prospect of following up Midvinterblot, which is pretty universally considered their best album ever. Hammer Battalion is their ninth full-length album, and they have really changed very little since the days of Where No Life Dwells. You could say that Unleashed are a generic Death Metal band, but their last album broke the mold and proved they can do way better than that.

This album just can't live up to its predecessor, but it's still a solid album. This is the same kind of riffy, punchy Swedish DM Unleashed have been peddling for almost 20 years now. Hammer Battalion is heavy and crunchy, with Hedlund's vicious but intelligible vocals and some killer riffage. This doesn't have the hooks that made Midvinterblot so catchy and memorable, but I do have to admit this is the best leadwork I have ever heard on an Unleashed album, especially on the title track and "Marching Off To War". The production is not quite as strong, and the mix is a bit uneven, leaving the lead guitars a bit loud while the rhythm tracks are too low.

Nitpicks aside, this is still a killer slab of old-school Death Metal, every inch of it pure classic Unleashed. Hammer Battalion only suffers by comparison to the last album, and it certainly rules supremely over stuff like Victory. Another solid album from a solid band.

More about Unleashed...
Review: As Yggdrasil Trembles (reviewed by Michel Renaud)
Review: Midvinterblot (reviewed by Lars Christiansen)
Review: Sworn Allegiance (reviewed by Christian Renner)
Review: Victory (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: Warrior (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with vocalist and bassist Johnny Hedlund on October 6, 2019 (Interviewed by Luxi Lahtinen)
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