Pummeling the line between death metal and black metal, harnessing melody and fury, the spawn-of-suburban-Stockholm Unanimated formed in 1989, drawing deep inspiration from Dismember. In fact, the spirit may have been felt a bit too deep, as the group’s original vocalist Rickard Cabeza departed early on to play bass with Dismember. The two bands’ orbits continued to intersect, and Cabeza eventually returned to Unanimated for the group’s 1995 album, Ancient God of Evil. Upon his return, though, he stuck to the bass.
Unanimated circulated two demos, Rehearsal (1990) and Fire Storm (1991), followed by their official 1993 debut long-player, In the Forest of the Dreaming Dead, on No Fashion Records. In many ways, the record set the stage for the similarly epic presentation of Dissection’s The Somberlain, released nearly a year later. Yet Unanimated’s brutal ride stopped short for more than a decade in 1996 after drummer Peter Stjärnvind quit to join Face Down, who he left shortly thereafter to play with Entombed.
In Swedish Death Metal, author Daniel Ekeroth notes: “Like Necrophobic, Unanimated was great and deserved a better fate.”
Reading Ekeroth’s words, the band apparently agreed enough to not let their history end there. Unanimated became reanimated in 2008, releasing In the Light of Darkness on Regain Records (with Rickard back on bass). They toured for the next few years. At present, the group seems to be in a state of suspended unanimation, but—once again, like the revived Necrophobic—it’s a fool’s errand to attempt to nail Unanimated’s coffin lid entirely shut just yet.
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