THE HAUNTED at Sweden Rock, the time of a newfound enthusiasm for a band that I deserted shortly after hearing their self titled debut. The vicious performance of the Swedish Thrash giants contained so much energy that it transformed me back into a fan of the band. I love the band’s last two releases, essential albums if you’re into Modern Thrash Metal (plus microscopic Hardcore influences), and I’m overjoyed to have been given the chance to review their newest album wearing the title “Revolver” or “rEVOLVEr” if you want a slick wordplay.
This new album displays a band playing what they have loved to play on all of their albums, THE HAUNTED, I daresay, will never be a confusing or challenging endeavour. They are bonded to Thrash music, just picture the guys at a table at one of Century Media’s office (they got signed to them some months back in case you didn’t know) discussing what they’ll play on the next album, there’s only going to be one solution: Thrash, Thrash and more Thrash.
The band doesn’t have that much to prove today, they still deliver Thrash Metal like they never had anything else to do in their daily lives. They do have a varied approach to the style of course, but being so dedicated to one style naturally denies some of the experimental edges many extreme bands love to flirt with.
Jensen and the Björler duo, the main song writers, are masters of this genre regardless if you’re talking about playing abilities or composing skills. Writing pumping kick ass songs like “99”, “All Against All” and “Abysmal” takes experience and know how, not that they’re over technical, but it’s obvious they’ve been paying more attention to structures and catchiness to make the album more fluid while also giving it a clear direction.
Fans of the older methods of all speedy beats, uncompromising wild guitars and that “in your face” Thrash feel of aggression and “fuck you all” are likely to run across their apartments head banging their soul out when hearing the roaring qualities of “Sabotage”, “Who Will Decide” and “Sweet Relief”. “My Shadow” comes off as being surrealistic, atypical, the band has definitely touched new ground with this 7 minute closer, unusually slow, darker and more epic in atmosphere.
I honestly enjoy Peter Dolving´s (welcome back dude) Hardcore screaming, which wasn’t the case with the first album. I’m with the minority, I’d choose Aro over Dolving (maybe it’s because I tend to like Deathy vocals more), but with “Revovler” I’ll surrender on this one occasion. The album has some very good and varied vocal approaches being used when they’re needed, proving that Dolving is a good and well ranged Thrash vocalist, he can be really aggressive but also calmer and more relaxed in true doped out Scott Weiland style.
So, THE HAUNTED are still what you expect them to be, a well oiled and updated Thrash Metal engine, “Revolver” (that’s my pick as “rEVOLVEr” is a bit misleading and not necessarily true) retains the classic feel of the band and delivers the goods packed in an awesome sound production, all you thrasher’s better beware of this golden bullet when it enters your flesh on its flying day!!! (Online November 8, 2004)