The Haunted – ‘Strength In Numbers’ (Century Media Records) Print
CD Reviews
Written by Nick Russell   
Monday, 16 October 2017 04:30

The Haunted ArtworkBack in 2014, there were two albums released that I was highly anticipating: the comeback album from a reformed At The Gates and The Haunted’s newest album with Marco Aro back in the fold. Whilst fundamentally similar, they are very different beasts, but will always be linked with bassist Jonas Björler and Adrian Erlandsson being the common denominator. As it went, the former won the battle in terms of quality over the latter. ‘Exit Wounds’ was good but ‘At War With Reality’ was great. Three years on and Then Haunted are back with their ninth album, and the anticipation level was once again high.

 

‘Fill The Darkness With Black’ is a pretty generic intro, it has to be said, but then it’s BANG!! You are smacked round the head with the heavy fast riffing of ‘Brute Force’, now this is more like it, The Haunted doing what they do best, thrashtastic! ‘Spark’ has more of a grove going on, whilst still keeping it heavy in that classic melodic death metal style. ‘Preachers of Death’ has a heavy chugging staccato riff, alongside a killer melodic chorus and harmony solo’s. Don’t worry though, whilst the chorus is melodic, Marco’s vocals are still as vicious as ever. The title track is more of a mid-pace chugger, the guitars sounding nice and heavy.

 

The best way to describe ‘Tighten The Noose’ is it’s a fast as fuck rager of a tune! A signature Haunted song if ever there was. ‘This Is The End’ is a slow grinder with its more Slipknot-type riff, whilst ‘The Fall’ has a great chugging thrash riff, the sort that Lamb Of God nicked and made their own! There’s a steady pace to ‘Means To An End’, a song that you can’t help but bang your head to, building up to a heavy crescendo. ‘Monuments’ is an altogether slower song, still heavy but with little flourishes here and there.

 

There are two distinct differences between this album and previous one: the material here is just better than the songs on ‘Exit Wounds’; and it sounds incredible compared to the previous production. This would be down to the stellar work of Russ Russell at Parlour Studios, everything sounding nice and crisp and heavy.

 

The Haunted are one of the finest exponents of that modern thrash metal sound, whilst not totally being in the thrash ballpark. When they do kick it up into gear, they just fly in a hail of speedy riffs and drums, leaving many in their wake, lovely! But it’s not all about speed, they also have that ability to add more to the sound, ultimately still being heavy though.

 

A superb record and yet another killer metal album this year, the end of year list is going to be a real bugger this time, I suspect The Haunted may well make me do it!

 

‘Strength In Numbers’ is out now. You can get your copy HERE.

 

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