Re-uniting with original vocalists seems like the in thing to do again. MAIDEN and PRIEST did it and so did these Swedes. Itís return record number 2 for Peter Dolving as the boys once again deliver another solid dose of crushing riffs and agro vocals that are intense as usual. While I respect the band musically, I have never been a fan of the voice because whether it was Peter or Marco it had more of a Metalcore vibe and I donít care for that even though they arenít singing in that vein or are they? To be honest, I havenít cared much for THE HAUNTED in quite some time for one reason or another and in order for them to get me to listen they would have to do something drastic to grab my interest.
And you know what?! They blew my expectations away into oblivion. What a surprise did I receive. I read on online postings elsewhere that the group were going to try different avenues and boy did they. The music may not be lightning quick as we all are used to, but itís more mid-paced heavy as hell and can still pack a punch. First track ďThe FloodĒ is very catchy with itís simple, but power packed licks delivered by Jensen and Anders. Itís slower than usual, but contains a huge surprise when we hit the mid section. Itís more rhythmic and atmospheric. It contains some tribal beatings that are tender, but slowly begins to pick up the pace after a few moments. I like this.
ďThe MedicationĒ should have been the lead track as opposed to the other one that I talked about first. The gang Thrashes away with faster guitar playing and thunderous pounding on the skins. Itís pretty typical of the men to play like this. No tricks up their sleeve as they just serve up old school music like they only can. Well, except for another mid section where Peter sings clearly, but only lasts for a sec or so before the adrenalin kicks back in to round out the jam. Wow! Much like when Bjorn ďSpeedĒ Strid began to sing a lot more cleanly when Devin Townsend was behind the control board, the same can be said to Mr. Dolving thanks to or perhaps not the one and only Tue Madsen who recorded this effort at his renowned studio.
Holy cow man! Each track just gets more intriguing as we forge on. ďThe FalloutĒ is a combo of heavy and mellow which contains keyboard work. Not just musically, but vocally as well this track has a Gothic feel. Itís really bizarre. This one has to be heard to be believed. It may disgust some fans, but very ballsy in terms of going into uncharted territory. There were tons of surprises thrown my way as I ran through this disc. Most of them were cool in my eyes because you can tell that the band doesnít want to remain on the same track forever. Itís all about depth, diversity and intrigue and the boys delver on all of those fronts. Some may be turned off by this release and I could understand why while others may embrace this. The choice is yours, but I say give it a chance because there are a lot of goodies in hear that are just waiting to receive some attention. There are plenty of Thrash jams to rock out to still along with the new creative side to the album. Fabo effort! For those who love the limited editions, there will be an extra two tracks thrown on here along with a bonus DVD and special packaging. Happy hunting.
(Online November 30, 2006)