Eleven full-lengths spanning two decades in the silly and oft-lethal record business requires a bit of fortitude and self-reinvention. Well, Unleashed -- long known for pre-dating Super Wario Amon Amarth with their tales of Viking plunder and intrepidity -- has fortitude in spades. Blonde-haired and Viking-large Johnny Hedlund's been at the death metal game longer than most of his been-departed-for-ages peers (that counts Entombed, for all intents and purposes), as have original Unleashed members Anders Schultz and Tomas Olsson. Unleashed is, as it seems, tough, even if they took a seven-year sabbatical (uh, what's the Norse word replacement?) between Warrior and Hell's Unleashed. As for self-reinvention, well, that's perhaps up for a debate on minutia. Since 1991, the Swedes haven't strayed too far from their original catchier-than-the-1710-1713-plague formula, and it appears after a few stunted efforts to make Unleashed "rockier" they're back on the longship, readying for yet another biennial assault in the form of new album, Odalheim. This time around, however, the Warriors of Midgard are teaming up with pagan/heathen battle dudes from afar -- like the Mayans, for example -- to wage a metaphorical war on Christianity and, as you'll read below, the "White Christ".
"After years of struggle and toil against the armies of White Christ, the Midgard Warriors went across the open sea to gather the battalions there, and to build an army big enough to fight in the final stand," rails lead hornblower Johnny Hedlund. "At the end of the (Vinland) North American journey, the Midgard Warriors and their growing armies traveled through the Sierra Madre and into Central America to meet with the Toltecs, Olmecs, Aztecs and others. It seemed they had all joined forces to build a rebellion against White Christ. They were now known as the Maya Warriors. We joined for Blot and Celebrations to our common task and for life long freindship. We had now grown to be a very respectful army of warriors that set off to the European continent again..."
Indeed, Unleashed is prepared for attack. And, of course, the quartet wants you to be war-kitted as well by first sounding a 2:40 battle call. OK, hyperbole dismantled, we have the new Unleashed cut, "Rise Of The Maya Warriors".
** Unleashed's new album, Odalheim, is available April 24th, 2012 on Nuclear Blast Records. Order it HERE or find yourself at the business end of a Mayan perforator while Johnny and his blood-glee Vikings observe in acceptance.