Ancient God of Evil

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In the credits for their 1994 recording Ancient God of Evil, Unanimated give a "special thanks" to more than ten bands for creative inspiration -- and those bands range from Pink Floyd to Slayer, Black Sabbath, Venom, Celtic Frost, Mercyful Fate, and Bathory. Why is the fact that this Swedish outfit acknowledges both Pink Floyd and Slayer so important? Because it speaks volumes about the mentality of this melodic death metal/black metal album. It underscores the fact that while Unanimated are going for aggression and intensity, they are also going for craftsmanship, nuance, and musicality. Moody yet forceful tracks such as "Oceans of Time," "The Depths of a Black Sea," and "Dying Emotions Domain" don't have the polish or the production gloss that many of Scandinavia's melodic death metal and symphonic black metal recordings have favored; the production is rougher than that, and Ancient God of Evil has a lot of the gut-level punkiness that early death metal and early black metal were known for. But even so, there is no getting around the fact that this is a highly melodic album -- and some headbangers who have complained that most death metal and black metal releases are overly harsh and unforgiving have found Ancient God of Evil (which Regain reissued in 2008) to be much easier to get into. So in light of all that, it makes perfect sense for Unanimated to give a shout-out to Pink Floyd at the same time they're giving a shout-out to Slayer. Ancient God of Evil isn't recommended to death metal or black metal purists, but fans of melodic death metal and symphonic black metal will find that this excellent CD is well worth obtaining.

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