Release DetailsLABEL Sound Riot Records
RELEASED ON 1/28/2005
posted on 1/2005 By:
Goddamn you Metalreview. Yet another band of got absolutely no business liking, but I'll be damned if Unchained’s ultra melodic, pure metal Iron Maiden, meets power metal's guilty pleasure, meets prog rock, has my foot tapping furiously and my air guitar smokin’
Sweden’s Unchained are just supremely talented, that’s about the brunt of it. Sheer, unadulterated melodic heavy metal with actual balls that twiddles abundantly and rocks so hard, my hair grew into a feathery mane and my pants turned into striped spandex in a fireworks flash. Per Carlson is Bruce Dickinson incarnate (even down to the strained high notes), but their music sounds slightly more European, with a little more progressive flourish than Maiden, although the power, the rockin’ catchiness and the total pure metal atmosphere is present in spades. Far more powerful and gutsy than power metal, and not as lithe as pure prog rock, Unchained are just heavy melodic metal that should appeal to anyone who enjoys great songs and supreme guitar work.
The overall, ‘big’ sound is horrendously addictive and guaranteed to make any guitar fan bust out the ghost fingers at random moments (my boss walked in on me performing air solos numerous times while listening to this), but its not just glossy, wimpy ‘Europe’ rock-there’s some weight here that melds seamlessly with the furious solo work and labyrinthine riffs. The prog side of things is the overall technical feel of the albums in depth songs, because Unchained are far too memorable to be considered an exhaustive prog metal opus, as each note, riff and solo leeches to your memory like your first sexual encounter. The album is no doubt complex and intricate, but you’d simply don’t fathom it as you are to busy being sucked in by the likes of the sing along tempo of “My Guide” or “Ghost of the Alchemic Hall” and its addictive chorus. You simply are enthralled by the overall delivery rather than focus on select instruments or moments, and that’s a major testament to the talent of Unchained.
It’s impossible not to ignore the infectiously soaring gait of the lengthy “Theatre of Fear” and even the wispy ballads “Dream” and “Ordinary Sinner” have a hummable, subconscious enjoyment. But at their most impressive, Unchained deliver riotous galloping riffs and wide stanced, package revealing, hair blowing in the wind metal that’s unashamedly old school, but glossed with a modern sheen and Sweden’s innate sense of overbearing harmony. Just sit back and absorb the lush but heavy riffs of “Like the Candle” or “The Great Witch Hunt” that put Gers, Murray and Smith to shame and try not to bob your head or grasp the neck of an imaginary guitar-go on, I dare you.
It’s very rare that I enjoy ‘clean’ traditional heavy metal, with only Maiden, Rhapsody and Manowar being bands I accept without blast beats or growling, but Unchained has provided an almost childlike giddiness and ‘pure’ feeling of enjoyment on a level I haven’t felt since I heard Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.
Highly recommended to anyone that considers him or her self a true metal fan.
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