Having toured with everyone from Slayer toFuneral for a Friend, if The Haunted arefinally getting noticed, they have their dedicatedselves to thank. The band’s fourth effort, rEVOLVEr(musicians really shouldn’t try to be too clever!) isa more polished and tighter sounding package, Thelikeness to In Flames is certainly more than apassing one, but to my ears it’s much more audible inthe production elements than in the musical style.
Opener No Compromise acts as a mission statementfor the Scandinavian metallers – instant migraine provision canbe found thanks to some raging battery on the drumswhile vocalist Peter Dolving puts in a capital hardcore ear-splitting effort.
In fact, Mr Dolving is a master of his vocal chords,frequently demonstrating his abilty to pull off veryconvincing singing as well as disturbingly brutalscreams. Check out Abysmal and Burnt To A Shell for hissofter side – the latter has by far the bestchorus of the album and is a true sing-along number that issure too kick off live, with the soft:heavy ratiopulled off to perfection.
Elsewhere, 99 contains enough time changes to convince themost ardent of listeners that their CD is skipping,when in fact The Haunted are playing with your mind!More screaming atop ultra-fast chords mean that there are nosurprises here until the chorus, which is equally relentless but significantly stronger.
The epic My Shadow is as close to a ballad as The Hauntedventure but never fear, Nickelback it mostdefiantly ain’t. With kick-ass distorted open chordsfading into clean yet brooding verses, Peter’s vocalsare very Psycore (for anyone who remembersthem!) in nature, and the emotion that transcendsthrough the mix in the agonisingly dark chorus is jaw-dropping.
Sabotage is a grinding assault on the senses thatsees guitar and drums lock into each other tighterthan a nut and bolt, while Nothing Right once againputs the drummer on overtime as the double kick andfour-to-the-floor beats hit your ears like a pneumaticdrill. Who Will Decide sees old school hardcoreflavours being mixed beautifully into The Haunted’s metalsound with Lou from Sick Of It All lending his barkingpresence to beef (and consequently speed) things up abit.
All in all, this ought to be The Haunted’sbreakthrough album. It contains strong songs that avoid beinggeneric for the most part, and even when they are, as in Liquid Burns, they still have kicking guitar solos. rEVOLVErsure makes for some damn good party music.