Released: 1998, Earache Records
Reviewer: Nathan Robinson
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding The Haunted, and for once you can actually believe it! This album is a thrash metal masterpiece. I’m not talking about the progressive and melodic thrash of the '80's, I mean the in-your-face, brutal, energetic speed metal of the '80's, like Slayer’s Reign in Blood. Yes, the Slayer comparison always rears its head when describing The Haunted’s music, but it works.
The Haunted features ex-At The Gates members Jonas Bjorler (bass), Adrian Erlandsson (drums), Anders Bjorler (guitar), as well as ex-Séance guitarist Patrik Jensen and ex-Mary Beats Jane vocalist Peter Dolving. Don’t expect The Haunted to be a continuation of At The Gates however, as a large portion of the music was written by Jensen. In fact, some of the riffs were originally written for the third Séance album. There are at times some similarities to the brutal death/thrash attacks of At The Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul, but as far as melody goes, only the song "In Vein" resembles the classic At The Gates melodic death metal riffarama, courtesy of Jonas’ excellent song writing skills. This is probably the best song (I’m a huge At The Gates fan), and I hope Jonas writes more in the future.
The lyrics are very pissed off and full of hate, and Peter’s voice fits them perfectly. He sings in a Tom Araya style of yelling and screaming, sometimes sounding like Phil Anselmo. But Mr. Dolving definitely has his own identity. Add the speedy and energetic riffs together with Adrian’s precise, razor sharp drumming and you have an album that’ll tear your head off after the first listen…and if it doesn’t, it’ll make you want to tear your neighbor’s head off! This is a great album to listen to when you’re pissed off or just filled with lots of adrenaline.