I must admit I kind of stopped paying attention to THE HAUNTED after their second effort, "The Haunted - Made Me Do It". I do remember them being a very good Neo-Thrash Metal band and so I'm happy I get to review their new album "The Dead Eye".
Even after listening to merely the first two songs I'm quite surprised already. These Swedes have evolved one hell of a lot! Up to the second album they only played angry modern Thrash Metal, but here there's all kind of styles to be caught. Some Death Metal groove here, a bit of modern Thrash there and (especially noteworthy) a much more melodic attitude in general. Of course it's still Thrash Metal, thanks to the busily sawing guitars, but THE HAUNTED are not the same anymore (in a positive sense). It's a bold step to take, and a successful one in my opinion. No matter which song I pick, each one is exciting and sweeping. Some I thought were especially well done are the melodic "The Medusa" and the riff bombs "The Cynic" and "The Prosecution". But as I said, this is quality stuff without exception. Folks who like THE HAUNTED mainly due to their Thrash Metal thing may be mildly confused about their light change of direction here, but "The Medication" and "The Stain" are going to satisfy their needs, too. In addition to great songs, there's the great production as well, which'll clean out your auditory canals with ease. Exactly the way it should be done.
"The Dead Eye" should definitely be a step in the right direction for THE HAUNTED, as otherwise their previous style would have turned into a dead horse before too long. Even though fans who have been listening to them from the very beginning may be a bit disappointed, I think after a few spins at most every fan of these Swedes should be able to get into the new material and the many highlights. The band have grown and they show it with a great album. Listen to it.
Recommended listening: "The Cynic", "The Medusa", "The Prosecution"...
(Online December 4, 2006)