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The Haunted
December 2004
Released: 2004, Century Media
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

The Haunted have won two Swedish Grammy Awards in the category of Best Hard Rock band. Meanwhile, they’ve been touring endlessly around the world with acts like Slayer, Morbid Angel, In Flames and Napalm Death to mention a few. The band’s self-titled debut album from 1998 is a modern day classic of ground breaking thrash metal. The Haunted have continued to deliver thrash metal of the highest level to this day.

After the debut album was released the band had a setback when lead singer Peter Dolving announced that he was leaving. Peter was replaced by former Face Down vocalist Marco Aro on the following three albums THE HAUNTED MADE ME DO IT, LIVE ROUNDS IN TOKYO and ONE KILL WONDER. I have seen the band live several times with Aro behind the mic and it feels like you’ve been hit by a train. After a very long tour in support of ONE KILL WONDER Aro left the band and Dolving was asked to join the band. He accepted and Aro returned to his old band again. REVOLVER is their first release on Century Media.

The Haunted have always played pure straight-in-your-face thrash metal without any compromises and no mellow parts in any songs. On this album they have chosen to move in another direction musicwise which I will come to later.

REVOLVER was recorded in the very famous Fredman Studio in Gothenburg from February through March of this year. The production was done by the band with help from Fredrik Nordström and Patrik J Sten. The album was mixed and mastered by Tue Madsen. As always when Nordström is in the producer seat, the production sounds great. The Haunted sounds angry, raw, aggressive, brutal and fast, just like they should sound. The only exception on this album compared with the other ones is that this album has a darker sound and they have also added some “slower” parts here and there. The drums are heavy and pounding along with some sharp guitars and at the top of the mix lies Dolving’s angry lead vocals.

The band runs through eleven tracks and the music is written by the Björler twins and Jensen. Dolving has written all of the very angry lyrics and the band have done all the arrangements together.

“No Compromise”, “99”, “All Against All”, “Sweet Relief”, “Sabotage”, “Who Will Decide”, “Nothing Right”, “Liquid Burns” and “My Shadow” are brutal, hard and fast thrash metal songs where Dolving shows that he is in as good a shape vocally now as he were on the debut. The drummer hammers on the drums and really knows how to play uncompromised raw thrash metal. The sound is incredibly heavy and brutal with some soaring guitar play. In “Who Will Decide” Lou Keller from Sick Of It All appears and it sounds like the two vocalists are sharing the mic. “Abysmal” and “Burnt To A Shell” are two slower songs. The first starts off with only guitar and vocals and Dolving sings with an ordinary voice but when it all kicks off he returns to sounding angry again. This song is a perfect example of The Haunted’s change in pace that I mentioned earlier. Also the second song is a bit slower with a lot of tempo changes.

The Haunted are still on the thrash metal throne with this partly brilliant album. I’m still not sure what I should think of the slower parts in the songs but maybe it just takes a while to adjust to the new direction they have chosen to turn to. The guys are really tight and they have very strong and well produced material.

During a limited time there will be a limited edition of the album with alternate artwork and two exclusive bonus tracks provided. There’s only one thing to say, BUY THIS ALBUM RIGHT KNOW!
Track Listing

1. No Compromise
2. 99
3. Abysmal
4. Sabotage
5. All Against All
6. Sweet Relief
7. Burnt To A Shell
8. Who Will Decide
9. Nothing Right
10. Liquid Burns
11. My Shadow


Peter Dolving – vocals
Anders Björler – guitar
Jonas Björler – bass
Jensen – guitar
Per Möller Jensen – drums

Next review: » The Haunted - Strength In Numbers
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