Nima : The German thrash veterans of Necronomicon will soon celebrate their 35th anniversary and although they have never become as big as their genre- and era-mates such as Sodom, Destruction, Kreator or Tankard, singer/guitarist Volker "Freddy" Fredrich has never let himself be discouraged and has always kept the band alive. Moreover, the gentlemen have made a lot of progress over the past years and have become stronger with every album.
The band has just released its the ninth long player, 'Unleashed Bastards', and since the last records were absolutely not disappointing I was pretty enthusiastic about this album, too. Fortunately my enthusiasm is immediately rewarded with the strong opener, 'Burn And Fall'. The band has not deviated from what we are used to from them and has continued the line of previous albums on 'Unleashed Bastards'. This is therefore a logical continuation of its predecessors and the surprise element is quite nil; something that I personally appreciate a lot. However, compared with ’Pathfinder… Between Heaven And Hell’, the album has turned out thrashier and therefore more aggressive. Despite the fact that the traditional heavy metal influences that played an increasingly important role on the previous albums and gave the whole a more melodic load are also explored here, 'Unleashed Bastards' has generally become a rather big chunk of pure aggression. And who am I to complain about that?
Due to the combination of aggression and melody (and a slightly more modern approach), the atmosphere of the album reminds me more of Construction Of Evil’, combined with the aggression of 'Revenge Of The Beast' , but with the qualities that the band nowadays possesses, which has naturally resulted in better songs. On the instrumental and technical levels, there is little to be desired and also on vocal matters Freddy sounds stronger than ever. His voice still reminds a lot of Schmier (Destruction) but also has that clean aggression that for example Devin Townsend had in his Strapping Young Lad-days. All in all, the gentlemen have delivered a dozen powerful songs with the fast and savage thrashers like 'Total Rejection', 'Religion Live Fast', ‘The Nightmares Continues’ and the aforementioned opener as a few highlights. The rest of the songs fortunately are of a high quality as well and manage to maintain the focus thanks to their versatility. All in all, 'Unleashed Bastards' has become a strong thrasher that will certainly appeal to fans of both the older works and the more contemporary variants of the genre and (especially) 'The Teutonic Big 4' and co.. And last but not least, it's good to hear that the band still sounds so energetic and enthusiastic after almost 35 years, and that creativity is far from dried out.