Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Review: Unchained Beast - Guiding the Lamb

Originally formed as a Metallica cover band under the name of No Leaf Clover, Norway's own Unchained Beast switched to creating original compositions in 2010 and have been playing a large amount of gigs in their local underground scene ever since. Now, wishing to branch out to the rest of the metal loving world the band have released their debut appearance in the form of an EP, Guiding the Lamb, in late 2013. The band members are undoubtedly young, their ages ranging from 16 to no higher than 21, but will their youth bring a new take on thrash, or will they still be emulating their idols? 

Genre: Thrash Metal
Label: Self-released/independent
Release Date: December 27th, 2013
  1. First Breath Taken
  2. Guiding the Lamb
  3. Gates of Dumbr
  4. The Infection of Mankind
  5. Split Conscience
Total Playtime: 29 minutes, 33 seconds





Rating: 8.0/10




Originally formed as a Metallica cover band under the name of No Leaf Clover, Norway's own Unchained Beast switched to creating original compositions in 2010 and have been playing a large amount of gigs in their local underground scene ever since. Now, wishing to branch out to the rest of the metal loving world the band have released their debut appearance in the form of an EP, Guiding the Lamb, in late 2013. The band members are undoubtedly young, their ages ranging from 16 to no higher than 21, but will their youth bring a new take on thrash, or will they still be emulating their idols?

Among one of the more unique thrash compilations of recent era, Guiding the Lamb is full of fist pumping, head banging modern thrash riffs that are reminiscent of mid-era Megadeth, especially during "Gates of Dumbr", with some Anthrax sprinkled throughout for good measure. There's a subtle bass presence that becomes stronger as the material continues on it's epic journey, assaulting the listener with an unending arsenal of lines that are highlighted during "Guiding the Lamb", where the element shines behind complex guitar solos and in between the abruptly stopping guitar riff. There are also some random bass solos dispersed around the content, and at times the compositions rely on the bass to carry the content nearly on it's own such as in "Split Conscience". While it's easy to hear the large influence that Megadeth has had on the crew of Unchained Beast, their song compositions are uniquely theirs and there's no intended worship to be had.


Equipped with thrilling guitar compositions, the audience will rarely find their attention diverted from the outstanding arrangements at hand. While some tracks such as "Split Conscience" are slow melodic adventures infused with picking sections, other songs such as "The Infection of Mankind" and "Guiding the Lamb" are balls-in thrashing goodness with up-tempo power chord compositions that provide a fresh outtake on the crowded genre. There are many complex leads that flow fluidly while shining bright above the other elements, these leads are executed without flaw and provide intense climaxes during certain tracks. Even though they're very versatile, the drums are unfortunately overshadowed due to the awe-striking nature of the guitars and bass, and they could use more aggressive rhythms and double bass kicks to drive the slower tracks. The clean vocals that incorporate very few thrashy chants do little to add to the material, yet they don't take away from anything either. There are a few thrilling sections that will get the audience chanting along, but other than these inclusions the vocals are left on a neutral plateau.

A defining release in the ever growing thrash underground, Guiding the Lamb is an epic, revitalizing journey that combines catchy riffs, monumental leads and a stealthy bass which will kick the ass of anyone who comes within earshot. The material isn't the sweaty, beer guzzling, head bashing rampage that most newer thrash seeks to emulate but instead brings back the old days when thrash was a groovier, more complicated version of punk and still stood against political empowerment and society in general.

Digital Download Provided by: Unchained Beast

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