Release DetailsLABEL SPV
RELEASED ON 6/10/2008
posted on 6/2008 By:
After the god-awful ‘comeback’ album, Hell’s Unleashed, Unleashed righted things with the solid Sworn Allegiance and even more solid Midvinterblot and now have three solid albums in a row with Hammer Battalion.
There’s not much to Hammer Battalion really, so I won’t bore you unnecessary prose in this review. Basically, it’s an Unleashed album; it's 13 songs of classic styled Stockholm death metal and it’s mostly about Vikings, war, anti-Christianity and such. However due to the passing of time, it’s never the kind of album that will match the band’s early classics like Where No Life Dwells or Shadows in the Deep, but it certainly has the same aura and feel.
Much like fellow Swedish veterans Dismember and Grave, who also released albums this year, Hammer Battalion is what you’d expect from such a long running, influential act; no surprises, no twists, but nothing really jaw dropping or re-invigorating. This is just Unleashed being Unleashed. There’s faster thrashing tracks like opener “The Greatest of All Lies”, “Long Before Winter’s Call”, “Marching Off To War” and “Warriors of Midgard” as well as expected Teutonic, chugging tracks like “Your Children Will Burn” and “This Day Belongs to Me” and “Carved In Stone” all with a few solos here and there, wrapped up in a nice stern, sort of Stockholm-ish guitar tone and Johnny Hedlund’s distinct bark and still cookie cutter lyrics. There are no real standouts, but no weak tracks either, the whole album is just one 13 track display of consistent but not mind blowing death metal, but I guess that’s Unleashed’s M.O.
To be honest I preferred Midvinverblot as it felt more ‘viking” and to be honest if you’ve heard Midvinterblot or Sworn Allegiance, you’ve already heard Hammer Battalion, and frankly Amon Amarth have taken this sound and made it far more dynamic and enjoyable, but that does not make it any less of a solid album from one of death metal’s most consistent acts.
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As Yggdrasil Trembles