Unanimated - In the Light of Darkness
Regain Records
Melodic Death (truly) Metal
10 songs (45'46")
Release year: 2009
Regain Records
Reviewed by Alex
Surprise of the month

Band reunions are either welcomed or cursed, but what is to say about a reunion of the band less known in its first reincarnation? While the original members of Swedish Unanimated went on to bigger things in Dismember, Nifelheim and Dark Funeral, Regain Records have been hard at work reminding us of the band’s existence with a couple of their old records reissues last year. The ground was simply laid for Unanimated return in 2009 with a brand new slab of obscure cold melodic death metal in the form of In the Light of Darkness. First rendezvous with Unanimated or the long awaited get-together with the long lost masters, all of us should be hoping the collective stays together if albums like In the Light of Darkness are in store.

Give me an honest show of hands if you are missing Storm of the Light’s Bane by Dissection. Devil’s dozen years later and we finally have a record which comes close. The memory of the Swedish masters of frozen blackened death comes to mind the minute Retribution in Blood hits its stride. Sticking out its chest in the prideful measured dance of death or rushing forward at the breakneck speed, this and many other songs on In the Light of Darkness have that touch of frosty wind billowing from the Satan’s den. The rhythm section of Richard Cabeza and Peter Stjarnvind is more muscle toned than old Dissection and Micke Jansson tends to be a little lower and cleaner sounding than Jon Nodtveidt (RIP), but he can still hover and creep like a night banshee.

The album is mostly fast, but when the band slows down for pounding and predatory Enemy of the Sun, they show that there is more darkness in their single track than in the full eponymous Waldemar Sorychta recent thrash concoction. This is not to shadow the fact that Unanimated come up with feisty and tasty melodic riff embeds which could make Iron Maiden proud (The Endless Beyond, title track) and hereby lies another Dissection comparison. Hummable and sing along, The Endless Beyond chorus seems almost playful, but how else would you address the Lords of Darkness, the mysterious wink in the eye not affected by the knelt pose. At the same time, In the Light of Darkness leadwork are fantastic wolf’s howl in the ice-covered tundra (Retribution in Blood) or slithering flames of fire amidst some demonic run for cover (Diabolic Voices).

While Dark Tranquillity will always reign supreme in my melodic death world, Unanimated takes us back before the genre musicians tried keyboards in its sound and before all fascination with harmony. In this sense The Unconquered One almost takes a step back in history showing what melodic death metal was about in the early 90s. Most importantly, Unanimated epitomizes both words in the style of music they play literally. While no doubt melodic, they never lose sight of death, lurking just around the corner waiting to pounce.

Killing Songs :
The Endless Beyond, In the Light of Darkness, The Unconquered One, Enemy of the Sun

Alex quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Unanimated that we have reviewed:
Unanimated - Ancient God of Evil reviewed by Alex and quoted 86 / 100
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