The Unguided is a five-piece melodic death metal band from Sweden, formed by Richard Sjunnesson, after his departure from Sonic Syndicate. Later, he was joined by (also former Sonic Syndicate singer) Roland Johansson, and (then) Sonic Syndicate guitarist Roger Sjunnesson and drummer John Bengtsson and current Cipher System bassist Henric Liljesand. Drummer John Bengtsson left the band and in late 2012 The Unguided found their current drummer, Richard Schill.
Before The Unguided was formed, all of the core members played in the Swedish metal band Sonic Syndicate. Vocalist Roland Johansson left in 2009 due to issues with extensive touring. In October 2010, it was announced that vocalist Richard Sjunneson would not take part of the rest of the We Rule the Night tour to spend more time with his family, but a couple of days after he announced the break was permanent, that he left Sonic Syndicate due to creative differences. Richard went on to form the new band, The Unguided, together with Roland Johansson and Roger Sjunnesson.
On December 22, 2010, Richard revealed on his blog that the band would be releasing two brand-new songs in January. On January 9, 2011 the band revealed the artwork and title for their upcoming EP, Nightmareland. The artwork was done by Kuang Hong. The layout and booklet design was made by Gustavo Sazes, the same person who made the artwork for the Sonic Syndicate EP Burn This City. An alternative version of the artwork for later re-issues of the EP was made by Jose A. Aranguren, the same person who made the artwork for the Sonic Syndicate album Eden Fire. On the same day, it was also announced that the release date of Nightmareland would be delayed until February due to the band re-recording it in a professional studio and not in Richard's home studio. On January 18, 2011, the band announced the title of the two new songs for the Nightmareland EP: "Green Eyed Demon" and "Pathfinder". On the same day, it was revealed that the recording took place in The Abyss studio (same studio Sonic Syndicate recorded Only Inhuman, Love and Other Disasters and Burn This City) in Pärlby, Sweden with producer Jonas Kjellgren (same producer Sonic Syndicate used for Only Inhuman, Love and Other Disasters and Burn This City).
On February 6, 2011, the band announced that their first concert would be as a part of the set-list for the 2011 Getaway Rock Festival. Richard also revealed that he had joined the Swedish metal band Faithful Darkness.
On February 16, 2011, the band released a video on their YouTube page including a preview of two tracks of the upcoming EP. On February 18, 2011, the band announced that the recording, mixing and mastering of Nightmareland was done. They also announced that the band had signed with the Swedish record label Despotz Records, on which Nightmareland would be released. March 7, 2011 the band announced that Nightmareland would be released on April 1, 2011 through Despotz Records. They also announced that the band would be re-recording songs they wrote when they still were in Fallen Angels. On the release day of Nightmareland, "Pathfinder" premiered on the Swedish radio station Bandit Rock.
Hell Frost (2011-present):
On April 28, 2011, the band announced that pre-production of their debut album had officially begun. They also revealed that Jonas Kjellgren also would be producing the album and that The Unguided had signed a deal with Despotz Records to release and distribute it. On June 6, 2011 it was revealed that the second The Unguided concert would be on July 26, 2011 at the annual Grand Rock event at their hometown Falkenberg, Sweden.
Richard had already hinted that fans needed to keep their eyes out for June 16, 2011 without revealing anything more than that it would be a special day. On June 16, 2011 without any official announcement The Unguided released their debut single "Betrayer of the Code". "Betrayer of the Code" was originally written by Roger and Richard when they still played in Fallen Angels. The artwork for the single was made by Jose A. Aranguren, the same person who made the artwork for the Sonic Syndicate album Eden Fire and the alternative version of Nightmareland. With the release of the first single, The Unguided had officially begun recording their debut album. Although the recording session had already been going on for a while, it wasn't announced until June 16.
On June 25, 2011, Richard announced that The Unguided would not be able to perform any of their songs written in Sonic Syndicate due to after Roland's departure of the band he signed a contract giving away all the rights of anything related to Sonic Syndicate, even performing the songs live. In order for the band to play their songs live, every member of the band (except new singer Nathan James Biggs) needed to sign a contract wherein they allow The Unguided to play their songs. Richard and Roger's cousin and guitar player in Sonic Syndicate, Robin Sjunnesson was the only person in the band not willing to sign the contract, therefore removing any possibility for The Unguided to play any of their old songs.
Richard Sjunnesson included the following statement about the situation on his blog:
I know this comes as a disappointment to a lot of you who were looking forward to hearing Sonic Syndicate songs with the original singer setup but it's totally out of our hands. Until we get that last signature there's really nothing we can do. We in The Unguided don't see this hindrance as a major obstacle, however. We see it as a great challenge since we immediately have to banish ourselves to the writing board, finish up, and rehearse a lot of new material. Keep in mind, we're NOT Sonic Syndicate we're The Unguided with all the properties that comes of that. Thus The Unguided's upcoming live appearances will consist of entirely our own material.
On October 3, the artwork and title of their debut album Hell Frost was revealed at 616. The artwork was done by Kuang Hong, the same person who made the artwork for Nightmareland. The layout and booklet design was made by Gustavo Sazes. On the same day Despotz Records announced that the recording, mixing and mastering of Hell Frost. was completed and that it would be released on November 30, 2011.
Richard had already announced on his blog that the album would include a cover song; on October 8, it was revealed to be "Tankens Mirakel" by the Swedish EBM duo Spark. The song has been translated into English and will appear on the album with the title "The Miracle of Mind". It will be the JakeBox exclusive bonus track for Hell Frost. On October 11 the Swedish radio station Bandit Rock premiered the song "Inherit the Earth", a preview of the song had been played the day before as well.
On October 25, it was announced that "Inherit the Earth" would be the lead single. "Phoenix Down" was originally intended as the lead single. The single was eventually released on October 26, 2011. The artwork for the single was made by Jose A. Aranguren. On January 13, 2012 the band released their second single "Phoenix Down" and its music video, directed by Patric Ullaeus who has worked with all the members of the band on several occasions. The single was released as a 4-track single. The artwork for the single was made by Jose A. Aranguren.