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The Haunted
March 2011
Released: 2011, Century Media
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Demonator

Before I even start nit-picking at the details of The Haunted's seventh record, a word of warning: the rumors you may have heard about their latest opus being more Hellyeah than HELL AWAITS are all true. Whether borne from a desire to shun the Slayer comparisons once and for all, or simply the end-result of being in essentially the same game for too long, there are moments on UNSEEN where you genuinely feel as though you're knee-deep in one of the biggest creative left turns since Metallica shocked and appalled with LOAD.

That said - personally, I've never been quite as harsh as some on bands taking a stab at something new. As it is, I may be one of literally tens of Paradise Lost fans who thought that HOST wasn't a complete piss-take. Heck, I even like a couple of tunes off LOAD, as it happens. The musical pedigree at the core of The Haunted's new joint dictates at least a minimum quality level, and among the twelve new tracks on offer, there are a couple of real barnstormers. "Never Better" starts us off in exactly the way a more experimental Haunted record might be expected to; there's a tip of the hat to the breakneck riffing of old, broken up by a stunning chorus-line that brings to mind the tortured croon of Layne Staley. "Catch 22" is a mid-tempo melee, benefiting as much from a neck-snapping riff as a train of infectious hooks that come at you in rapid succession.

Still, there's no masking that UNSEEN is a decidedly patchy - at times even piss-poor - piece of work, when held to the band's earlier benchmarks. Reaching its nadir on "Them", there's a palpable feeling on more than one occasion that The Haunted have grown desperate to share commercial airwaves with their buddies in Funeral For A Friend. Whether this is true or not, the backlash from fans will be fierce. In turn, you can expect particularly the outspoken Peter Dolving to retort with more vitriol than ever - an irony given the often glaring absence thereof on this record.
Track Listing

1. Never Better
2. No Ghost
3. Catch 22
4. Disappear
5. Motionless
6. Unseen
7. The Skull
8. Ocean Park
9. The City
10. Them
11. All Ends Well
12. Done


Patrik Jensen guitar
Jonas Björler - bass
Anders Björler - lead guitar
Peter Dolving - vocals
Per Möller Jensen - drums

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