Swedish rock not for sissies

The Haunted
Century Media Records
Today?s thrash revival owes a large debt to At The Gates, the Swedish band that started the oft-mentioned ?Gothenburg Sound.? Ironically, most of the American bands today that are reviving the scene on this side of the Atlantic wouldn?t be as potent if not for ATG?s influence. Now, after the eventual break-up of the band in ?96, came the formation of the lethal (and ever-EVOLVing) line-up that is The Haunted. With original vocalist Peter Dolving, The Haunted?s self-titled debut caught the attention of European metal aficionados still sobbing over the departure of ATG. With breakneck precision previously known only to Slayer, The Haunted frightened all with tracks like ?Three Times? and ?Hate Song.? Violent in its view of society and its ills, the bleak picture painted by Dolving?s lyrics fit perfectly with the fretwork of Jensen & Co. Sadly, Dolving left after their debut due to frustration with the situation with the record label, and Marco Aro of the awesome Face Down stepped up.

Now, after two albums, Made Me Do It and One Kill Wonder, Aro has returned to life in Sweden and the beloved Dolving has returned to The Haunted. And what a return.

Actually, Dolving?s return accompanies a slight departure in terms of their sound on rEVOLVEr. As the title hints, this is a conscious effort to prog
ress forward, but fear not. All the anger, the frustration, and of course the metal remains intact. The slower speaking parts are in the vein of ?Forensick? (off the loved debut), but yes, there are (gasp) melodies. Yup, but this is no sissy peace-and-love music.

The bleak gets only bleaker with the addition of Dolving?s dirgy crooning, and it does help them to ?evolve? their sound. Perhaps contemporaries like Entombed or the Hellacopters have had an effect on Dolving. Swedish hard rock has evolved, so why not The Haunted?

If you?re still wary, check out ?No Compromise? and ?99,? then skip to ?Sabotage,? ?All Against All,? and ?Sweet Relief,? then skip the intro to ?Burnt to a Shell,? then just listen to it all. Trust me. This is a worthy follow-up to ?One Kill Wonder,? and the reunion of the decade as far as the underground is concerned.

Until next week,

?Three times... my fist came DOWN!!!?