The Haunted

Strength In Numbers

Album Type:
Release Date:
25th August 2017
Record Label:
Century Media Records
Total Tracks:
10
Genre:
RATING: 

Very few bands held the thrash banner high in the 90’s. One of those bands was The Haunted.  Their self-titled debut may have pinned them as not much more than a Slayer clone musically, but Adrian Erlandsson and Patrik Jensen had other ideas. Powered by the barkings of Marco Aro, The Haunted plowed through two more albums before Aro’s departure and a reunion with original vocalist Peter Dolving. This is the version of the band that caught my ear, as Revolver turned me into a fan. Aro eventually returned to the fold on 2014’s Exit Wounds, along with Erlandsson, and Ola Englund from Six Feet Under as the band’s new lead guitarist. Now on August 25, 2017 via Century Media, comes the second installment from this rejuvenated line-up, Strength In Numbers.

Intro ‘Fill The Darkness With Black’ is the first and last time you have something easy to listen to on Strength In Numbers. Aptly titled true opener ‘Brute Force’ is a solid punch in the face. Aro barks along to Erlandsson’s blast beats, asking the universal question “Should I kill myself, or everyone else around me?” ‘Spark’ brings the tempo down a bit, but cranks up the groove in something of a of pre/Peter Dolving era combination. ‘Preachers of Death’ crushes with a foot stomping/head banging riff reminiscent of their classic song ‘D.O.A.’ This stomp carries through to the title track, where the band even drops a breakdown, a ’la Lamb of God. Jensen blasts the listener with some crunchy riffs through ‘Tighten the Noose.’ ‘This is the End’ is a purposeful dragger, again evoking some Dolvingesque memories. After another LoG-like track, ‘The Fall,’ ‘Means to an End’ brings back that patented The Haunted punishing groove as we take Aro’s “demons for a walk.” ‘Monuments’ closes out the album with a thumping swing, crushing you all the way to the end.

For The Haunted, Exit Wounds was a definite return to form, especially compared to the semi-disappointing Unseen. Strength In Numbers is head and shoulders above Exit Wounds. Its combination of thrash, groove, and Swedish death metal, that is still full of hooks, make for a much more memorable album. The mark III version of the band has created a sound that mixes their past, along with a few new influences, to create a promising future. So don’t pass on Strength In Numbers, because this might be the best version of The Haunted yet.

Tracklist:

1. Fill The Darkness With Black (01:24)
2. Brute Force (02:48)
3. Spark (04:21)
4. Preachers Of Death (04:55)
5. Strength In Numbers (04:38)
6. Tighten The Noose (03:00)
7. This Is The End (03:29)
8. The Fall (04:32)
9. Means To An End (04:25)
10. Monuments (04:28

Playing Time: 38:00
Line-Up:

Marco Aro – vocals
Jensen – guitar
Ola Englund – guitar
Jonas Björler – bass
Adrian Erlandsson – drums

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