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The Haunted Made Me Do It
Released: 2000, Earache Records
One of the more anticipated releases for fans of thrash metal is finally coming out this month. If you like thrash metal and bands like Slayer, Witchery and At The Gates then you should of checked out The Haunted's pummeling self-titled 1998 debut CD. If you are not familiar with The Haunted, here's a quick rundown on the band. Two of the members of The Haunted (Anders and Jonas Bjorler) are from the now defunct, yet groundbreaking, Swedish band At The Gates who's CD Slaughter of the Soul is held in VERY high regard. Guitarist Jenson is known for his work with Witchery and his prior recordings with Satanic Slaughter. There are two new members on this album. There's new drummer Per Moller Jensen, replacing the ex-At The Gates skinsman who performed on the first CD and we also have a new vocalist - Marco Aro who replaces Peter Dolving. The biggest change here is with the vocals. Dolving came from a hardcore background and thus brought some of those elements to the band. Aro on the other hand has more of a raw At The Gates / In Flames style without being derivative of either band. His vocal style is unique to a band who's sound is not of the Gothenburg style, but is firmly rooted in 80's thrash. That is not to say that this sounds like an 80's album.
As soon as the CD beings it mighty roar through your speakers you know you're in for a thrashing. There are no letdowns and no letups in the fury on this CD. After the 1minute plus instrumental opener "Dark Intentions" the killing begins with "Bury Your Dead." This is the kind of riffing that makes Slayer jealous and put us Slayer fans into a frenzy. "Hollow Ground" continues with the Slayerish style of brutal thrashing. They slip in a small bit of blast beasts without turning it into noise. This song even has a clean guitar part bringing some variety to the music so it's not 100% thrash drum beats for every song. "Under The Surface" features a bit of melodic styled singing but it's not overdone and the next track "Victim Iced" slams in with brute force making you forget all the worlds problems. All songs on this CD have something to offer - godly thrashing choppy rhythms, near death metal styled tremelo picking, intense drumming.... there's something on here for every fan of brutal thrash.
If you are a fan of Slayer yet think that their last couple of albums were not quite up to par in terms of having that "classic" thrashing sound then this is going to put a smile on your face. The Haunted are by no means a rip off band - it just happens that their influences can be heard which is not a bad thing. No regrets, no apologies, no excuses...THE HAUNTED MADE ME DO IT!!!
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