Finally, after a fucking long wait, Johnny and his boys have reached the Romanian shores, for the first time in the band’s career.
The reason was Maximum Rock Festival that took place last weekend (24-25.10) at Turbohalle, in Bucharest.
I won’t review the full festival here, because the line-up was not my cup of tea and I didn’t care about the other bands that played there, but you can find a nice review here (in Romanian): http://www.metalfan.ro/concerte/maximum-rock-festival-2014-5993.html
But with Unleashed, well, that’s a completely different story. What metalhead hasn’t, at least once in his life time, listened to albums like “Across the Open Sea”, “Shadows in the Deep”, or “Where no Life Dwells” ?
The show took place on the second day of the fest and the band co head lined the night, together with their fellow countrymen from Dark Tranquility.
The bands that played before Unleashed were total crap, Elvenking with violins and hilariously painted faces, Slovenians from Noctiferia mixing some kind of extreme metal with a lot of core, Romanians Code Red boring as hell with their linear death metal, so I really looked forward to the first true band of the night (and, in fact of the whole festival) to come and knock me off my feet.
I did not have any expectations at all, since I did not see Unleashed playing live until then.
And geez, wasn’t that a surprise.
After a short but thorough sound check, the 4 Swedes entered the stage and delivered one of the most intense old school death metal shows I’ve ever seen.
Without any stupid attitude or silly comments, like other bands, they just did what they know best: play hard, heavy and straight in your face. The crowd was responding to every “order” Johnny gave, so they screamed off their lungs on “Hammer Battalion Unleashed”,” Death Metal Victory” or” Wir Kapitulieren Niemals”.
Reviewing almost the entire back catalogue, Unleashed took us from “Where no Life Dwells” to “Odalheim”, alternating the set list between slow crushing songs and brutal drum parts, thus making the perfect balance for the night.
The energy the band had, was transmitted to the audience, creating a bond between what happened on stage and what went on in the pit, where some dudes started some sort of circle mosh, quite harmless and funny.
The sound was perfect, the best until then and that helped a lot, since all the instruments, together with Johnny’s growling were easily heard. There is no way to describe the heaviness of this band when playing live, I was just staring in awe at these guys as they did what they know best, for almost 30 years now.
After one hour, the band had to stop, even though most of the fans would have preferred the show to go on and on. But that is what happens when you play at a festival and the time frame is quite restricted. I really do hope they will be back one day to play their own show and tell us again the story of how the Long Ships came, before the creation of time.
Set List (No Particular Order):
Before the Creation of Time
To Asgaard we Fly
Longships are Coming
Don’t Want To Be Born
Wir Kapitulieren Niemals
Hammer Battalion Unleashed
This is our World Now
Your Children Will Burn
Triumph of Genocide
If They Had Eyes
Death Metal Victory