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The Haunted - Unseen (CD)

The Haunted
by Fotis Giakoub at 25 February 2011, 3:02 PM

Evolution; The nature’s “evil” master plan in making things more “interesting”, to say the least. Everything “alive” in life, evolves in one way or another, so does music, sometimes way too brutally and weird and some other times so “silently” that you can hardly tell the difference without looking into the bigger picture. Such is the way of how THE HAUNTED’s music evolved (or degenerated depending on your point of view), few can expect on what their latest effort, “Unseen”, has to offer.

It is pretty obvious who THE HAUNTED are, if you like what mighty Sweden has to offer putting aside the lovely blonde female swimsuit models, good mobile phones and “cheap” do-it-yourself furniture-! The Bjorler brothers together with Adrian Erlandsson of AT THE GATES fame, created the band around 1998 and their synonymous release made quite an impression in the unwary metal community. Few member changes and two massive albums later (“Made Me Do It” and “One Kill Wonder”) and everybody agreed that they had momentum from the abrupt disband of their former band. The return of the original frontman, Peter Dolving, they seemed to be looking to dismiss their legacy and try to create a sound of their own hence their next album title “rEVOLVEr”. It was almost obvious that there was an almost 180 degree turn to their musical direction, from straight forward in-your-face Death/Thrash sound to something more catchy and a bit “dirtier”. Almost obvious being the operative word here since they actually made a declaration of their “new-old” sound with the release of “Unseen”.

I kind of wanted to hate the album; I really did and it was because after hearing the album the album a couple of times, I felt that they were “riding” the stoner-bandwagon/trend. A feeling that became more dominant when I learned that their first sneak peek of the album was the “southern” “No Ghost”. While trying to review this “mess” as it seemed at first- I found myself involuntarily humming to a couple of songs which made me look deeper into the compositions themselves. You can stop reading now if you are looking a new “Made Me Do it” or some kind of AT THE GATES nostalgia. “Unseen” is so different in so many levels that it could be easily any other band than THE HAUNTED. Almost every song, has a mid-tempo feeling with clean vocals and very few and very short solos. One thing that’s really in there is the switch in the melody. During almost every song the melody and the rhythm rarely stays the same and this is what “hooks” you up; just listen to up to my two personal favorites from the album, “Disappear” and “Unseen”. You can’t really say that they’ve gone “mainstream” or loving the “stoner-trend” but for sure you can give them thumbs up for the quality of this release, especially if you take in mind the fact of their “dangerous” musical endeavor! Someone might even say that the recent AT THE GATES reunion (for live gigs only, new album is out of the question for now (?)) released the Bjorler brothers from their “heavy legacy” shackles and let their creativity go wild. Songs like “The Skull” and “Motionless” proves the point above and leaves you with a guilty pleasure for liking them. There are few songs that have the “filler” filling but their musicianship is so good that they will be someone’s favorite sooner or later.

It was “Unseen” all right! THE HAUNTED took a risk and it seems that it might prove to be a worthy one. This album is for sure one that needs some time and dedication to get into you, something that’s really rare nowadays where everyone is “looking” for easy and therefore forgettable- “excitement”. How “successful” will it be, is something that only time will tell… It might be another breakthrough for them but we might be also talking about an underestimated gem in a decade or so. You only have to listen to it and judge for yourself.

3 Star Rating

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 - Rhythm Guitar
Jonas Bjorler - Bass
Anders Bjorler - Lead Guitar
Peter Dolving - Vocals
Per Moller Jensen - Drums
Record Label: Century Media


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Edited 06 February 2023

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