Sound — 7
Bassist and vocalist Johnny screams Viking death metal! Viking death metal! on the third track, Wir Kapitulieren Niemals, and that's really as quick a rundown of Unleashed's sound as you'll get. In 3:27 you get the core of their sound, the raw old school death metal production, the lyrical approach and the general take-no-prisoners attitude. The production is fairly raw by modern standards but it still manages to retain a bit of air between the instruments and Unleashed is the type of band that benefits a great deal from not having a polished production.
Lyrics — 5
Any time you more or less pigeonhole yourself to a certain genre, be it musically or lyrically, you had better deliver the goods. Unleashed have been doing the viking lyrics since 1066 or thereabouts, and at this point you either can't stand it anymore or you're a hardcore fan and still dig it. It's not so much the Viking imagery that bothers me, but the actual lyrics and imagery just comes across as forced and cheesy on As Yggdrasil Trembles. As for examples, just give the lyrics to Wir Kapitulieren Niemals a read and you'll understand my point.
Overall Impression — 5
As Yggdrasil Trembles retains some of the charm and brute attitude found on Hammer Battalion, but it's still somewhat mind-boggling when you consider how little this band has changed or evolved in their 20+ years of existence. If you've heard an album or two by this band, you've definitely heard the style presented on As Yggdrasil Trembles. Unleashed's death metal is like eating at McDonalds. It's reliable, dependable and regardless of which menu (read: album) you choose, you know what you're gonna get. But therein lies the problem, because after 20 years of eating the same menu, the burger is pretty damn stale.