The Haunted

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

Peter Dolving – Vocals
Anders Björler – Guitar
Jonas Björler – Bass
Jensen – Guitar
Per Möller Jensen – Drums

The Haunted (1998)
The Haunted Made Me Do It (2000)
One Kill Wonder (2003)
rEVOLVEr (2004)
The Dead Eye (2006)
Versus (2008)


Tue Madsen (prod.)

Released 16/3-2011
Reviewed 16/2-2011

century media

Back in the old days when Daniel Silfver still was part of our editorial group, he always ended up with the The Haunted albums. Now I feel that might have been a misstake from my side, not to check up them my self earlier. The Haunted has always been there beside me, their debut was released just about when I started to listen to hard rock more seriously and while I've always been aware of them - I'm telling the truth now - I've actually never heard a single song by The Haunted before playing this album.

With two Swedish grammy for best hard rock in the beginning of the 00's and with the attention and fan-base this generated The Haunted, even with people that normally don't listen that much on hard rock, they definitely were one of the ten biggest hard rock bands in Sweden in the last decade. And the popularity have kept quite intact as time has passed. Last year they toured along with Slayer and with 'Unseen' in stores by Mars 21st, The Haunted will probably take over both Sweden and the world this year. And with festival shows at Sweden Rock, Hellfest, Wacken and Summer Breeze they have lined up the safest ways to go there. But is 'Unseen' good enough to take over Sweden and the world?

When you start 'Unseen' you're first greeted by the song Never Better, which puts trolls in my head directly. Is this the very best from The Haunted ever? I don't know, as I wrote earlier I haven't heard The Haunted before this but I must admit it is a very good song. Hard, agressive, fast and melodic. But it gets better. No Ghost and Catch 22 is even better than Never Better, and by the time we get to Disappear, motionless and the title track Unseen, the album reach its peak. Peter Dolving sings as someone possesed - he spits out the vocals, yet keeping a melodic feel to it. And he sounds as someone that really have the time of his life. And want to bite! While its screamy and shouty it has one foot in clear vocals and sometimes he gets his words out so fast it's scary - he almost sings in the tempo Martin Brundle, BBCs Formula 1 commentator, can commentate (like a tousand words in 10 seconds). Sometimes it's just the oposite - like if someone play him in slow motion. Mostly, however, it's clear vocals and typical vocals for the genre, which is some sort of shouty vocals - even if it's very varied.

Instrumentally it's also very rich. It's really enjoyable when they tune everything down but the guitars, or when they put some elctronics into the consideration.The tempo is often very fast when it comes to the instruments and they are quite heavy too. None of this is always the case with the vocals, but somehow they sound very good together. Not at all like on the Before the Dawn album I reviewed a couple of days ago where this was a big issue. Here it sound much better, The Haunted make it work excellent together. Partly because of how much better they play the instruments. Partly because they do the vocals much better. And also becuase they've mixed it together much better and because the production is at least a hundred times better. The sound quality is just fantastic! The feeling strikes you like iron, the whole album have just that power I want in albums - the one that grabs you, shakes you around and throw you 50 miles north into a fantasy land filled with naughty sheriffs and evil dragons.

Songs distinguishing thems selves are almost all of them, but the one really sticking in my mind is the fifth - Motionless. It really give you something special, without doubt this years best song. But if you are to pick songs for your iPod, there's really no song that's bad enough to be trashed. However, if you are to rule one out you can skip Ocean Park if you buy the album song by song, since it's only 50 seconds short and in other words not much for your money. But it's not a silly middle thing where some stupid idiot jump around in a joker hat and flute in 50 seconds like Rhapsody would have done it, however it's an acoustic song with low mood. If you are to skip one song I'd recommend that one, but only for the fact that it's the only song that doesn't give you value for money when you buy the songs one by one.

The Haunted today is far from that thrash metal everyne said they were before (I still don't know how much they were but today they most certaintly isn't), instead it's some sort of melodic metal of the heavier kind and more specific than that is actually very hard to be. The Haunted 2011 is mature, well arranged and five incredibly good musicans. And they deliver, with highest quality.

This is the best album I've heard so far in 2011. An album I can guarantee will keep a place at the top ten on a best of 2011 list for the rest of the year. It's also an album I probably will play alot in the future. I can only recommend you to do the same. Is 'Unseen' good enought to take over Sweden and the world? Ha! What a question!


Label - Century Media
Three similar bands - At the Gates/Hypocrisy/Beyond the Embrace
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm