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THE HAUNTED 'rEVOLVEr' (Century Media) (2004)

The Haunted

Well, it is official: in less that a month we are all going to be able to get our hands on "rEVOLVEr", the fourth studio release from the well-known and respected Swedish Metal act The Haunted. I have been a fan of the band since the release of "The Haunted" back in 1998, and even though I really liked the following two releases "The Haunted Made Me Do It"(2000) and "One Kill Wonder"(2003), I have always missed the presence of Peter Dolving as the frontman in the band.

It seems though that many things have taken place in The Haunted camp during the past year. First of all they signed a worldwide multiple-album deal with Century Media. That of course had little affect on the bandís sound, but what did make the difference is the return of Peter Dolving and his reinstatement as the bandís frontman. God knows, I had nothing against Marco Aro - in my opinion he did one hell of a job and managed to lead the band to worldwide commercial success. On the other hand, Peter Dolving is not the kind of artist that can easily be replaced and any doubts that you may have will vanish after you listen to this eleven track Metal assault.

The album has the typical The Haunted sound, since it was once again recorded in Studio Fredman, and was the product of the collaboration between the band and Fredrik Nordstrom. The thing that makes it different from the previous releases though, is the fact that the band chose to avoid making songs based on "riffomania", a term that was used by Peter Dolvin in one of his recent interviews. What does that mean? Should the typical The Haunted fan be worried by that statement?

No, I assure you that there is no such need. The album is equally heavy and impressive, but as the album title smartly states, it is a further step in the evolution of the band. All of you who chose to follow this band out of appreciation for their amazingly fast guitar riffs will find great satisfaction in songs like "No Compromise", "Sabotage", "Sweet Relief" and "Liquid Dreams". The band is also presenting itís melodic side with the quite groovy "All Against All"(also the first single of the album), the evil and quite doomy sounds of "Burnt To A Shell"(what a song!), and with what I consider to be the best song of the album Ė the amazing "Abysmal" Ė a song that makes strong references to the Tim "Ripper" Owens era with Judas Priest.

I was pretty sure that The Haunted would have come up with a good album, but I have to admit that "rEVOLVEr" took me by surprise. It seems like there is no stop to this well-oiled Metal producing machine and just the idea of having Peter leading the band in the forthcoming European tour brings tears of joy to my eyes. The Grammy award winners will not have to struggle in order to preserve their title Ė they have a really good album in their hands, as well as the support of their very loyal fan base, and that is a lethal combination.

****½

Review by John Stefanis

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly


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