The Haunted – Unseen (2011)

Posted: March 15, 2011 in Music

I’ll preface this review by stating that The Haunted has always been near the top of my list of metal bands. I find most of my “likes” these days coming from the European scene – as outside a handful of bands led by Lamb of God, American metal just isn’t as good by comparison,

That said, I had my first opportunity to listen to The Haunted’s latest release (in stores March 29th) Unseen today, and my knee-jerk reaction is this…

Boy, what an underwhelming album from Sweden’s finest thrash band. That’s right, The Haunted are Sweden’s finest thrash metal band. How could they be anything else when most of the group hails from At the Gates, who invented melodic death metal (and spawned a global movement) as we know it? The Haunted also have their own fair share of legendary albums like One Kill Wonder, The Haunted Made Me Do It, and the utterly ripping rEVOLVEr
.
Much to the dismay of a faithful legion of fans, everything past their 2004 opus has been hit and miss. The Dead Eye earned itself universal scorn, Versus wasn’t as bad as a lot of critics made it out to be, and now this Unseen is…weird. Yes, that’s the word that best sums up Unseen. From the minimalist cover art to the brooding songs that clutter its running time, Unseen is the strangest album the Swedish super duper group (for they are a very talented bunch) have released so far. The funny thing is a lot of the noise inside the album hardly qualifies as heavy metal, much less thrash, though a few tidbits still harken to the band’s roots.

It can’t be helped, really, for The Haunted are a lot happier exploring their capabilities than giving what the fans are screaming for – pure molten ferocious Swedish thrash metal. The real tragedy of Unseen, however, is a lot of the songs aren’t that impressive. Sure, the sparkling No Ghost, which the band is already playing live, stands tall. Unfortunately, the rest of the material isn’t as commendable.

The best Unseen has to offer are the heavier cuts such as The Skull, Done, Catch 22, and Motionless. Forget the title track – it’s god-awful – a commercial jingle that’s predictable and bland. So that tallies up to five decent tracks out of twelve. Disappear, Them, and Ocean Park aren’t terrible (and are growing on me after multiple listens), but they do take the band into new, unchartered waters.

Is there anyone who’ll fall in love with Unseen? That’s really up to the fans and open minded listeners. Unseen is a step in a new direction and whatever flack the band gets for it is their fault – it’s not bad music, it’s just different music. Besides, frontman Peter Dolving has stated again and again that The Haunted are more inclined to expand boundaries than stick with a formula. If you can’t handle that mindset and what music results, stay away from Unseen. But if you like the band and want to see where they are going next, give the album a listen or two and see what you think.

7/10

Tracklist
01. Never Better
02. No Ghost
03. Catch 22
04. Disappear
05. Motionless
06. Unseen
07. The Skull
08. Ocean Park
09. The City
10. Them
11. All Ends Well
12. Done

MySpace: Link | Wiki: Link | Download (320kbps): Link

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Comments
  1. id_ says:

    From your IP range the limit of connections is reached , try downloading again after 583 seconds.

    yeah… fuck this host for using ranges.

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