|©1991 Century Media
1. Where No Life Dwells
2. Dead Forever
3. Before The Creation Of Time
4. For They Shall Be Slain
5. If They Had Eyes
6. The Dark One
7. Into Glory Ride
8. ...And The Laughter Has Died
10. Violent Ecstasy 11. Where Life Ends
The summer and fall of 1991 was the time period where music seemed to take a major directional shift, at least from my perspective. Thrash and speed metal was essentially played out, while death metal was beginning to emerge as a viable substyle of metal. (And we all know that Nirvana and their friends helped usher in new trends in hard rock.) At the time I was somewhat disappointed to see thrash fade as I never did completely warm up to the death metal style. In fact, it's safe to say I essentially shunned this offshoot of metal altogether. However, that snubbing of all things death metal meant that I've definitely overlooked a few gems within the style.
One such record is Unleashed's full length debut, Where No Life Dwells. This Swedish act came from the same background as the influential Entombed and was one of the early releases on Century Media records. The album features a perfect length of fluid death metal that still retained aspects of speed metal but with a new take incorporating the raw throat shredding vocals. What I immediately appreciate about this album is that Unleashed did not fall prey to unnecessarily tempo changes that act as impediments to enjoy a lot of death metal. Instead, Where No Life Dwells features song after song that burst from the gate with tons of energy and when they do change up tempos, it actually works with the concept of a well arranged song. Unleashed sneaks in a few galloping riffs here and there, also giving a nod to what came before them in metal. On the whole, this is a surprisingly energetic and enjoyable affair.
While I have never been an advocate for the early Swedish death metal scene, it is obvious that my bias caused me to overlook a few choice releases from that era. Even if you happen to have only the slightest leaning towards death metal in its burgeoning era, this is one record worth tracking down.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 12/2010