Relatively recent development of this Swedish band who make melodic rock in the older styles of Dismember with heavy black metal stylings as well.

In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead

Production: Relatively clear but frothy, sort of diffuse.

Review: One cannot argue that this is not death metal yet a black metal influence in concept and setting pervades. Beautifully harmonic, with melodic flowing lines and the single-string speed picking favored by black metal bands, this release is populated by well-built songs in the rock/heavy metal/Swedish death metal style with a human ear in mind, and the result is metal that is more moody and restless than heavy but extreme enough to exceed its ancestors.


1. At Dawn (4:27)
2. Whispering Shadows (4:17)
3. Blackness of the Fallen Star (5:28)
4. Fire Storm (3:38)
5. Storms from the Skies of Grief (3:53)
6. Through the Gates (3:58)
7. Wind of a Dismal Past (1:34)
8. Silence Ends (3:25)
9. Mournful Twilight (4:44)
10. In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead (4:42)
11. Cold Northern Breeze (3:28)
Length: 43:36

Copyright © 1994 Pavement

Much has been said about the similarities between this band and Emperor. Both have superior songwriting and treatment of melody; Unanimated typically begin a tune slowly, and then build into the main riff, which is usually a dynamically phrased riff without a whole lot of tonal nonlinearity. The result is flowing death metal that periodically stops to bash the hell out of things; although the playing is good, and real guitar solos occur on this album, I'd say the major failing of it would be the repetition and lack of real dynamism and intricacy. The addition of those elements would make this a first-class death metal band.

Ancient God of Evil
No Fashion

Production: Polished yet toneful and full.

Review: Moving their melodic Swedish death metal further into its origins, Unanimated for their second album chose a difficult course: beautiful but serious and alienating music. While the appeal to emotion and to the glorification of self is also present, what is mostly expressed here is a desire to make compelling music within the fusion of death metal and arching melodic lead riffing. Much in the style of "North From Here" from Sentenced or "The Somberlain" from Dissection, this album is driven by unravelling melodies which sketch a harmonic relationship in which the fundamental directional reconfigurations of the song occur.


1. Life Demise
2. Eye of the Greyhound
3. Oceans of Time
4. Dead Calm
5. Mireille
6. The Depths of a Black Sea
7. Ruins
8. Dying Emotions Domain
9. Die Alone
Length: 39:13

unanimated ancient god of evil 1996 no fashion
Copyright © 1996 No Fashion

A bullet racing at the surface line of white sand would produce the smooth refulgent synthesis of tones that is the slowly self-emergent melodic motif in each song, a half-symmetry of interrogation and a route back toward some tonal clarity through melding and divisive notes harmonizing their similarities in sonic shape from within the complex structure of their own internal harmonies and the rising phenomena of each song that thrust momentum to apex at the revelation of new direction in sonic motion. Pursuit heartbeat drumming chases lead lines often sparse or densely harmonized following their patterns through distinctive intervals of complementary directional balance, often deliciously rising however toward the illogical through a line of riff textures and "scenarios" set by mood established in rhythm guitar as lead explores advancing melody.

Barely discernible from black metal vocals at this time are the hoarse shrieks inflected to shape the emphasis of rhythm to silhoutte its patterns of pivotal self-reflection, yet their clarity remains their understated death metal delivery for the most part, with use of texture and tone for emphasis, in which accompaniment accents structure and pigments mood. Instrumentation is proficient and varies in its mix between Iron Maiden meets death metal melodic riffing and jazz/progrock guitar stylings. Perhaps too secure of themselves in this area, the band indulge some longer and bluesier solos that murder the mood by making of it a halfway gesture to the familiar from which this genre still hopes to remain apart.

Majestic in its presentation of gently seeding terror which issues forth in snowballing momentum firebombs of riff phenomena culminating, this music projects its essential tonal issues well and cloaks them in conceptual exploration of nihilism, self-negation and desire for significance in moments of clarity. Rock/jazz/heavy metal technique intrudes far too frequently to give this album any credence at the present time, but its unparalleled riff combinatorics and melodic beauty will summon many to its steps, despite the plausible argument that this album became a template for the stadium rock fusion that is "Swedish melodic death metal" at the present time.

BLACK   |   DEATH   |   HEAVY   |   SPEED   |   THRASH   |   GRINDCORE

Copyright © 1988-2004 the Dark Legions Archive