Legendary Swedish death metallers UNLEASHED are about to release their ninth album, entitled "Hammer Battalion", in a few weeks. Vocalist Johnny Hedlund took the time to write down a track-by-track analysis for the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine. Read it in English, German.
"Hammer Battalion" will be released via SPV Records on the following dates:
June 6: Germany
June 9: Rest of Europe
June 10: USA/Canada
According to the band, "The new UNLEASHED CD will continue in the same victorious spirit as our previous album 'Midvinterblot'."
Vocalist/bassist Johnny Hedlund and company have not only worn their Viking heritage on their sleeve for years, they've also proven to be one of history's most important flag-bearers for metalheads around the globe. At its heart, "Hammer Battalion" serves as a testament to these legions of proud fanatics, and delivers a commanding message loud and clear.
"Rebellion is rising," notes Hedlund when discussing the album's title track. "We will form a number of battalions all over the world with warriors who are not afraid to fight. We are tired of being sitting ducks for bullshit authorities who know nothing better than to oppress us for reasons they won't explain. We will take command of our own lives and get to work. Either like the chameleon smoothly changing colors to benefit our survival, or by the furious rage of a Viking warrior whichever suits us best. To the common man, his various pathetic and hollow forms of music is a hobby. Our music is a way of life. Join your local Hammer Battalion or start one yourself!"
Recorded in Sweden and produced by the band's guitarist Fredrik Folkare, "Hammer Battalion" takes a battle-hardened axe to the misguided concepts of self-subjugation, transparent corruption and unneeded suffering in the name of religious figureheads and provides a perfect link between the ancient struggles of their Nordic forefathers and the ills of our modern society. The blistering "The Greatest Of All Lies" and "Long Before Winter's Call" take on old religious myths re-cast as pure fact, while "Your Children Will Burn" serves as a warning of the consequences of blind faith. "Whatever is done in the name of different religions is often done against Mother Nature," notes Hedlund. "And she has the means of striking back."
Check out photos from the recording sessions at this location.
"Hammer Battalion" (cover artwork) track listing (not final order)
01. The Greatest Of All Lies
02. Long Before Winter's Call
03. Your Children Will Burn
04. Hammer Battalion
05. This Day Belongs To Me
06. Marching Off To War
07. Entering The Hall Of The Slain
08. Black Horizon
09. Carved In Stone
10. Warriors Of Midgard
11. Midsummer Solstice
12. Home Of The Brave
13. I Want You Dead
Check out audio samples at this location.
UNLEASHED's eighth full-length album, "Midvinterblot", was released in the U.S. on October 10, 2006 via SPV Records.
UNLEASHED's current lineup:
Johnny Hedlund: Bass, Vocals
Tomas Msgard: Guitar
Fredrik Folkare: Guitar
Anders Schultz: Drums
UNLEASHED live in Los Angeles, 2007: