THE HAUNTED are back with their 9th studio album ‘Strength In Numbers’ and I’ll be honest I’ve not really heard anything since the third album ‘One Kill Wonder’ and the debut album ‘The Haunted’ is ranked as one of my favourite albums of all time. Still remember getting that album and listening to it now stop as a 16 year old…the good ol’ days!
Anyway back to ‘Strength In Numbers’ and the task at hand, like a little kid at Christmas am all excited and can’t wait to get my grubby little mitts onto the album and see what awaits. So excitedly I press play, my ears are gentle soothed by an acoustic guitar which then builds up into a crescendo of melodic metal riffs which fade out. I’ll admit am a little confused and have to check that I’ve been passed the right album!!! However before I can check am brutally assaulted by the drums and screams of THE HAUNTED and then the guitars…ahh this is what I expected (and wanted) as Marco Aro bellows “With Brute Force”. Although they slow things down a little on ‘Spark’ it’s still heavy and as much as a “ballad” THE HAUNTED will do and so of the guitar work is outstanding and brings it all together.
After listening to the album numerous times already I can confirm one thing, maybe it has been a natural progression I’ve not followed THE HAUNTED career, but they have dropped the speedier thrash metal for a more heavier melodic death metal vibe. They have also incorporated more of a PANTERA and (early) MACHINE HEAD sound into the melting pot along with vocalist original band FACE DOWN (recommend checking out the album ‘Minefield’). However THE HAUNTED pull it off and can still pummel the listener without warning into a bloody mess with the shredding guitar riffs and barrage of drums pounding away frantically.
Have to say this is one of the best albums I’ve heard this year, and although I personally prefer the debut album and the sound from that album (probably bias due to the memories it invokes), this is a band that have evolved their sound so they don’t stay stale. Long may it continue…
1 Fill the Darkness with Black
2 Brute Force
4 Preachers of Death
5 Strength in Numbers
6 Tighten the Noose
7 This Is the End
8 The Fall
9 Means to an End