When The Haunted brought out their furious eponymous debut in 98, no one was surprised by the acclaim the band received, the impact "The Haunted" made on metalheads everywhere, hungry for a record that was new and invigorating whilst true to old school thrash aesthetics. After all, this was a band risen from the ashes of Swedish heavyweights At The Gates, whose Slaughter of The Soul still stands as an all time classic. Tour-de-force songwriting core Anders and Jonas Bjorler had left ATG and joined Jensen (Witchery) to create a new thrash initiative, and when Adrian Erlandsson (also ex ATG) on drums, and Peter Dolving (ex-Mary Beats Jane) completed the line up, their debut left little to question.
"The Haunted Made Me Do It" takes off from where "The Haunted" had laid the foundations, bringing thrash metal screaming and blasting into the new century with a whole new agenda and a sound that grips you by the throat. Fueled by the driving battery from new drummer Per Moller Jensen, pounding aggression drives each song at a relentless pace, without ever losing the control so vital to precision metal. But there is more. The Haunted have introduced another dimension to their palette - twisted melody. Stunning hooks and blinding riffs shape each song into an unforgettably heavy experience, but the melodic aspect that made At the Gates so revered is in evidence here, albeit wrapped in up in a far less Death Metal sounding package.
What also makes this record even more unique are the vocals. In '99 Peter Dolving left the band, only to bring to the fore a star in the making - Marco Aro. Previously of Stockholm metalcore outfit Face Down, Aro took on the mantle of frontman with giant charisma, winning old and new fans alike at important festival shows such as Hultsfred and Dynamo. Aro's captivating aggression on stage has crossed over into the recording, bringing with it ferocious dynamics on tracks such as 'The World Burns' and 'Bury Your Dead.' But it is his resounding flair for melodic embellishments that really transforms the thrash genre. "Hollow Ground" and "Under The Surface" boast vast melodic vocal hooks which will put a grin on your face just as the full force smashes you backwards.
The Haunted are like no other act, in that they have the ability to make a record built on old school foundations sound one hundred percent up to date.
The Haunted are true thrash modernists and offer no apologies for this full bloodied rage and fury. And neither do I. The Haunted made me do it.