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UNMOORED

Tech/Extreme Prog Metal • Sweden


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Unmoored biography
In the second half of 1993, guitarist/vocalist Christian Älvestam, guitarist Rickard Larsson and bassist Torbjörn Öhrling decided to put their own death metal band together and it was not long before Unmoored went with all sails set. A couple of songs were made and recorded, even though the trio were suffering from the absence of a drummer and consequently had to tape the whole thing with the poor help from a drum-machine. The demo entitled Wood Chuck Tune turned out to be more of a pointer in the individual process of developing and expanding the musical elements, rather than a self-evident milestone.

It was not until the spring of 1995 that a drummer was recruited and with the line-up now complete a new demo called In The Shadows Of The Obscure was recorded in the summer that same year. It showed a more progressive side of the band, containing less brutality than its predecessor, albeit still having a crude and rough sound. Instead the quartet tried to focus more on dynamics and harmonies this time around, experimenting with a view to musically ripen, but still they felt like there was something missing.

After some soulsearching months the material for the third and final demo to date, More To The Story Than Meets The Eye, slowly but surely started to come about. Being recorded and released in the summer of 1997, the demo was generally very well received. Fortunately, it only took some weeks for the band to be contracted by Pulverized Records for a deal of only two studio albums.

In the winter that same year, "Cimmerian", Unmoored's debut, was recorded at Sunlight studios under the engineering eye of Tomas Skogsberg. It was an album that would sum up all their past efforts of combining death, thrash and heavy metal, which can be classified as melodic death metal. Despite that, Unmoored sound was still mostly immature and somewhat unfocused.

For various reasons the album was delayed and wasn't released through Pulverised Records, until the early summer of 1999, two years after being recorded! During this time the band went through some critical, as well as important changes. They parted way with drummer Niclas Wahlén, among other things. Luckily Jocke Pettersson, co-producer of "Cimmerian", was willing to help out. With his skilled technique and experience gained from drumming in bands, such as THY PRIMORDIAL and DAWN, he reinforced the band in the preparations for their second album, entitled Kingdoms of Greed. It was reco...
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UNMOORED discography


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UNMOORED top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 3 ratings
Cimmerian
1999
2.67 | 2 ratings
Kingdoms Of Greed
2000
3.00 | 3 ratings
Indefinite Soul-Extension
2003

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UNMOORED Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Indefinite Soul-Extension by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Indefinite Soul-Extension
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Indefinite Soul-Extension" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Swedish death metal act Unmoored. The album was released through Code666 Records in October 2003. It´s the successor to "Kingdoms of Greed" from 2000 and features two lineup changes since the predecessor as drummer Jocke Pettersson has been replaced by Henrik Schönström and bassist Torbjörn Öhrling has been replaced by Thomas "Plec" Johansson, who also handles lead guitars on "Indefinite Soul-Extension".

It´s safe to say that neither of the band´s preceding album releases left a good impression on me. Both are inconsistent in style and execution, and neither feature productions which help the material shine. Thankfully "Indefinite Soul-Extension" is a completely different beast, and Unmoored finally show what they are capable of. Stylistically the material is melodic and progressive tinged type of Swedish death metal. Edge of Sanity is a valid reference, and it´s probably fans of that band (and the few similar styled artists out there. Fans of Soilwork may find this interesting too), who would get listening pleasure from "Indefinite Soul-Extension". While the music certainly is melodic, this is not melodeath. It´s still rooted in 90s old school Swedish death metal, but it´s a melodic tinged and progressive inclined version of the style. There´s good rhythmic variation throughout the album, from heavy mid-paced grooves to fast paced aggressive sections, to slow epic moments.

Lead vocalist/guitarist Christian Älvestam performs both death metal growls and some really well sounding clean vocals, which are not far removed from Dan Swanö´s (Edge of Sanity) voice and clean vocal style. The basic instrumentation are guitars, bass, and drums, but keyboards are occasionally used to create atmosphere and epic moments. Unmoored are a skilled unit, and everything is performed with great skill and conviction. So high level musicianship on all posts. "Indefinite Soul-Extension" also features a powerful, detailed, yet still brutal sounding production, which suits the material perfectly.

To my ears this is like listening to a forgotten Edge of Sanity album, and although Unmoored of course put their own spin on things, and avoid sounding like a complete clone of their fellow countrymen, there are undeniably more similarities than differences between the two artists found on "Indefinite Soul-Extension". So upon conclusion Unmoored still lack that last piece of originality to make them stand out as a unique entity on the scene. That doesn´t mean "Indefinite Soul-Extension" isn´t a high quality release, because it certainly is. Intriguing songwriting, high level musical performances, and a professional and well sounding production job, are all features which ensure that the end product is a high standard release. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Kingdoms Of Greed by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.67 | 2 ratings

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Kingdoms Of Greed
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Kingdoms of Greed" is the 2nd full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Unmoored. The album was released through Pulverised Records in 2000. It´s the successor to "Cimmerian" from 1999 and features a couple of lineup changes since the predecessor as drummer Niclas Wahlén has been replaced by Jocke Pettersson and guitarist Rickard Larsson has left too. The remaining members from "Cimmerian (1999)" are Torbjörn Öhrling (bass) and Christian Älvestam (vocals, guitars). Älvestam would of course go on to become very prolific on the Swedish metal scene with his involvement in artists like Scar Symmetry, Torchbearer and Miseration (among others).

Stylistically the listener is treated to death metal of the more melodic kind. It´s not melodeath, but imagine how a less interesting version of Edge of Sanity would sound like (the tracks not written by Dan Swanö). It´s quite an eclectic release, and while the basis of the band´s sound is death metal oriented, the music also features black metal elements ("Torchbearer" is almost full-blown black metal), and elements of goth/melodic metal. The vocals are predominantly high pitched snarling screaming (black metal type vocals), but the music also features death metal growling and some clean vocals. The material are decent but seldom anything beyond that, and it´s a bit of a shame, as there are obviously skills enough to create something a bit more interesting.

"Kingdoms of Greed" features a decent sounding production, but again it´s not really the best sounding production job, and it doesn´t help already relatively standard quality material to shine. Unmoored are often given the progressive death metal label, but to my ears "Kingdoms of Greed" doesn´t feature anything progressive. The song structures are relatively standard for the genre, and it´s not like the material are loaded with innovative or creative ideas either. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 Cimmerian by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Cimmerian
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars "Cimmerian" is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish metal act Unmoored. The album was released through Pulverised Records in the summer of 1999. "Cimmerian" was already recorded in late 1997 but the release was postponed because of label issues. On this release Unmoored are a two-piece consisting of Henrik Schönström on drums and Christian Älvestam on bass, guitars and vocals. The latter is quite the prolific character on the Swedish metal scene having been a member of acts such as Scar Symmetry, Torchbearer and Miseration. Unmoored are one of his first projects though.

The music on the album is a mix of melodic death metal, death´n´roll and large doses of groove metal. There´s even a hint at goth metal in the closing track "Final State" so "Cimmerian" is certainly a diverse album. The vocals are mostly growling/raw shouting but Älvestam masters clean vocals too and he uses them often. His clean vocals on "Cimmerian" remind me quite a lot of Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale...etc.). The sound production is decent even though the drums have an artificial sounding quality to them that isn´t too pleasant.

It´s obvious that the two guys in the band are pretty skilled musicians, but the music is a bit directionless to my ears. Unmoored simply take their mouths too full and incorporate elements from too many genres and the outcome is of mixed quality. It´s never really bad but it´s seldom really good either so I guess a 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

 Cimmerian by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Cimmerian
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by CCVP
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Just. . . . don't

The Swede band Unmoored came to my attention due to their last album, the fantastic Indefinite Soul-Extension, and, because of the great listening experience their 2003 album provides, I started to move back in their discography, with an ever increasing sense of regreat as I did due to disregarding one golden rule I have about melodic death metal: be EXTRA careful with it.

Being recorded in the mid 1990's, Cimmerian manages to gather in just one place practically everything that made people hate and scorn at melodeath. That is no exaggeration at all, it has almost every negative characteristic that this genre of heavy metal has to offer, you just name it: odds are it is here. Time has also not been kind to this kind of sound: if it already sounded bad and cheesy back then, when it was "popular", now it sounds simply awful. The immaturity, lack of focus, amateurism and the not-very-good production just helps to consider this release negatively.

Rating and final thoughts

As hard as I try, I can't think of any redeeming quality for this album. It is one of those things that should have been kept as a demo, hidden somewhere in a shelf from one of the bandmembers and eventually released as a bonus disc somewhere in the future. For this, I believe that the one star rating fills in perfectly: this is a poor album and most of those who, at this point in time, buy it, would probably do it in order to complete their own Unmoored discography.

 Kingdoms Of Greed by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.67 | 2 ratings

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Kingdoms Of Greed
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars I am all for variations on an album. But Unmoored is taking the piss here.

This is the second album from Unmoored and a change in direction from their debut album. Gone is the Slipknot and Korn connotations. In comes brutal and sometimes epic blackened death metal. Death metal in the typical downtuned Swedish style. The style Nihilist/Entombed and Dismember pioneered. That is 3/4 of the album. Then we get treated to some folky doom metal and some house music towards the end of this album. Type of music on the opposite end of the spectrum from the death metal this album started with. Is Unmoored playing a joke on us or not ? Disjointing an album like this is not a clever move at all.

The quality of the death metal is good. The quality of the other stuff is pretty bad. Hence, this is not an album I would recommend. The only good thing here is the Dan Seagrave artwork. And that's it.

2 stars

 Cimmerian by UNMOORED album cover Studio Album, 1999
2.00 | 3 ratings

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Cimmerian
Unmoored Tech/Extreme Prog Metal

Review by toroddfuglesteg

2 stars A pretty surprising debut album from this Swedish death metal band.

The surprise is not their sound though. It is the typical Swedish death metal sound which the likes of Dismember and Entombed developed. So far, so familiar. But Unmoored is not a Dismember clone. Their inclusion of Type O Negative like clear vocals, hip hop and some neo metal elements in the vein of all these new metal bands like Korn, Limp Bizkit and the types of band people half my age knows better than I do. A very strange, ultra-heavy eclectic mix it is. A blend of Dismember and Korn. What has the world come to ?

I am not a fan of this rapping type of vocals and neither am I a fan of this hip hop thingy. The songs here are not that good either. There are some decent songs here and this album is by no means a bad album. But I guess men half my age will like this album more than I do. In short; if you are older than 25 years old; don't bother. If you are a young man, get this album.

2 stars (yes, give me a straw with that mug of tea)

Thanks to CCVP for the artist addition.

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