The Haunted
Exit Wounds


3.5
great

Review

by Pizzabakker5 USER (14 Reviews)
August 28th, 2014 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Exit Wounds has The Haunted returning to their roots and show that they are still a relevant, but also a very angry melodic death/thrash band. However, many of The Haunted’s former dynamic sound is lost in this successful attempt to revisit the past.

It has been a turbulent time for The Haunted. 2012 saw three of their core members leaving the band: guitarist Anders Björler, drummer Peter Möller Jensen and vocalist Peter Dolving. Peter Dolving was the first one to leave – in February 2012. Judging from stories of both sides of this argument that appeared on the internet there had been some bad blood between him and some of The Haunted’s other band members for some time already. Likely this was also one of the main reasons for two more to quit in October 2012. In any case, though inspired and innovative, Unseen showed that The Haunted were already in an identity crisis working on their 2011 release: the album balanced between ideas that ran from their original thrash sound towards groove rock and even poppy sections. The struggle between influences on that album was undoubtedly caused by Peter Dolving’s desire to create something outstandingly different (quote: “we are going to be taking a piss in the general direction of all the crappy 99.9 percent of generic contemporary Mr. Goatse jerks out there”), while the rest of band were likely more comfortable with a more straightforward melodic death/thrash metal approach.

To explain The Haunted’s current crew we need to go back in time a little further. Before Peter Dolving (re-)joined the band in 2004, The Haunted’s voice was Marco Aro – who was co-responsible for the creation of the classic Swedish thrash albums (The Haunted) Made Me Do It and One Kill Wonder. Even before that period of time – prior to and during the release of The Haunted’s self-titled debut in ’98 – Adrian Erlandsson sat behind the drum kit; who by now has quite an impressive resume when it comes down to bands he’s played in (At The Gates, Cradle of Filth, Deathstars, Paradise Lost and Vallenfyre). Now just before the imminent and seemingly inevitable collapse of The Haunted at the end of 2012 the band’s remaining two members were determined to breathe new life into their band and saw one option to do so. In 2013, they managed to convince both Marco Aro and Adrian Erlandsson to return to The Haunted, and were also able to hire former Feared and Six Feet Under guitarist Ola Englund.

From here The Haunted had only one logical direction to take the sound of their eighth album to: back to their roots. Exit Wounds has The Haunted rediscovering the fury and relentlessness of their old days and sounds much more like the logical follow-up to 2003’s One Kill Wonder rather than 2011’s Unseen. Intro song ‘317’ immediately shows this off with energetic thrashy drum lines and a At The Gatesian guitar lead, and prepares us for what is to come: one hell of a loud and aggressive album. First full track ‘Cutting Teeth’ starts with insane screams from Marco Aro and continues with freakishly fast drumming and crunching riffs, and has The Haunted sounding heavier than they did for over ten years. ‘My Salvation’ and ‘Psychonaut’ go on with equal ferocity, though on the former some top-notch guitar lines are accentuated and on the latter an infectiously catchy chorus is sported that give these songs their own identity. ‘The Eye of the Storm’ is the lead single of Exit Wounds and had a promotional EP named after itself. This number focuses more on the groovy side of The Haunted’s newly found aggression and is both catchy and enormously energetic. ‘Trend Killer’ continues with even more groove and has with its stripped down sound and repetitive yet crushing drum pounding and guitar riffage one on the edge of his or her seat. ‘Time (Will Not Heal)’ is a throwback to the traditional Gothenburg melodic death metal sound and is one of the most excellent tracks on this album.

Half-way through the album The Haunted show no signs of slowing down, and throw more weaponry at your face with ‘All I Have’, ‘Temptation’, ‘This War’ and ‘Infiltrator’ that are reminiscent of Made Mo Do It and One Kill Wonder. ‘My Enemy’ is an odd one here, being a one-minute track that has The Haunted trying to squeeze as much anger and aggression into one minute as (in-) humanly possible. Another bright moment here is ‘Kill the Light’, that once more focuses on the melodic death metal aspects of The Haunted and has some of the best leads, catchiest hooks and the most epic chorus on this album. Album-closer ‘Ghost in the Machine’ is more introspective than the rest of Exit Wounds and shows that the Haunted have not completely forgotten their sound on albums such as The Dead Eye.

Exit Wounds is an album that focuses on nostalgia and sees The Haunted trying to continue were they left off eleven years ago. Somewhat surprisingly – especially regarding the fact that two years ago The Haunted consisted of only two remaining members – Exit Wounds truly feels genuine in its aggressive and stripped-down approach. Part of both the success and the short-comings of this album have to do with the change in vocals; Peter Dolving had a great dynamic voice that ranged from psychopathic screaming to unique clean singing, whilst Marco Aro has a much more in-your-face approach that alternates little between different types of screaming and singing. It depends on your preference; but personally I’ve always been a fan of Dolving and overall prefer his vocal approach, though I can surely appreciate the excellent job Aro does on Exit Wounds that matches the albums style perfectly.

Exit Wounds is full of great ideas and catchy choruses, but more importantly superb Swedish old-school melodic death/thrash metal. However, its fatal flaw lies in its consistency – over the years we became accustomed to a The Haunted that favored experimentation, which resulted in a set of highly dynamic albums. Exit Wounds is all but dynamic – it mostly lacks variation in its approach and does not change its unrelentingly high tempo, which makes this album a somewhat challenging listen despite its average length of 44 minutes. This is a shame, since this album has a lot to offer, but ultimately part of its brilliance is overshadowed by almost desperately trying to show how brutal and relevant The Haunted still is in 2014. If these guys were to unite their newly found old-school sound with the experimentation of their more recent past, we might be in for one hell of a ride in the future. For now, we have to make do with a somewhat stale but quality-wise excellent Exit Wounds, which by all accounts is no punishment.



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user ratings (73)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
tempest--
August 28th 2014


20634 Comments


Always loved this band a bit more than I probably should. Good to hear this is decent. Will have to check it out soon.

cryptside
August 28th 2014


2406 Comments


I thoroughly enjoyed the recent history of the band's reconstruction given in this review, and it's written quite well.
"Half-way through the album The Haunted show no incentive to start slowing down, and throw more weaponry at your face with ‘All I Have’, ‘Temptation’, ‘This War’ and ‘Infiltrator’ that are reminiscent of Made Mo Do It and One Kill Wonder."
-'Incentive' is the wrong word here, I believe saying something along the lines of 'The Haunted show no signs of slowing down'.

The review is a bit long, but it kept my attention throughout. Very nice work man! Pos!

XingKing
August 28th 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I had no idea this was coming out so soon. These guys used to be my favorite band about ten years ago. I really don't like Marco and the EP was pretty disappointing but will check this either way

Wizard
August 28th 2014


20508 Comments


Gates, Cradle of Filth, Deathstars, Paradise Lost and Vallenfyre).
Now just before the imminent and seemingly inevitable collapse of The Haunted at the end of


This part with the spacing needs to be fixed.

I like the background you provide but I feel it's almost too long and then when you get around to describing the music and it just drags out the review. A minor quip and maybe you could condense some of the history a bit. I don't know, this album really - I mean really sucked ass when I gave it a go last night - and it doesn't deserve a review of this length tbqh.

XingKing
August 28th 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

As if albums you don't enjoy deserve shorter reviews..

XingKing
August 28th 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

After listening through this, I would say the album is "good" but it's the worst of their good albums. I'd give it a low 3

Wizard
August 29th 2014


20508 Comments


As if albums you don't enjoy deserve shorter reviews..

There's nothing to say though and that's my point. Generic bands like this are hard to ramble on about unless you delve into the history and even at that, this is like bottom-of-the-barrel melodic death/thrash.

Dolving999
August 29th 2014


1853 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Good review man, here's a pos.



I really have to say that this one doesn't do anything for me. I started listening to The Haunted with rEVOLVEr and The Dead Eye, and I've been fucking spoiled with Dolving's vocals.



With Aro, everything's too "samey". I agree that Versus and Unseen were kind of a letdown, but... well, I had no high expectations, and Exit Wounds does just as expected honestly.

Willie
Moderator
August 29th 2014


20212 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4 | Sound Off

This was a good review, and I personally liked the history. I'm a 'casual fan' of the band, at best. I knew they came from At the Gates and I knew they've had a few different singers, but I didn't know that they had switched back or that they went back to their roots (the two only reasons I listened to this). It turned out to be a really good release.

XingKing
August 30th 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

^ In regards to your soundoff, this isn't their original singer. Dolving is the original vocalist from their debut and albums four through six. Aro is from their second and third.

R6Rider
August 30th 2014


5282 Comments


I've always really liked rEVOLVEr and One Kill Wonder.

Probably won't check this out.

Pizzabakker5
August 31st 2014


69 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks a lot of all the praise you guys! I'm busy atm but when I get the chance I'll get to fixing the review on the points that were suggested.



For the record: I've been a relatively big fan of The Haunted's work through the years since they've been involved with Dolving, and since a lot of shit has been going down recently I felt like writing a longer history section than is usually appropriate. I won't do this again in future reviews unless I have good reason to, but for now I am keeping it the way it is now. But again, thanks for all the comments and tips, it's really appreciated :-)

HarryBoBerry
September 2nd 2014


620 Comments


I haven't checked these guys out since The Dead Eye, but I like the sound of this album! Very good review!

Thibs
September 2nd 2014


2986 Comments


The Haunted Made Me Do It is where it's at. underrated imo

not sure if i'll check this but good review

treefingered2
September 2nd 2014


221 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album did not impress me much. good review

PiedradeLuna
September 2nd 2014


233 Comments


Well written review Pizzabakker5. Makes me want to listen to some of this when I get back from home. I really loved their first two albums (seeing them as some of the classic works in the genre) although they kind of fell out of favor recently, except the wonderful The Dead Eye. Makes me glad that someone who prefered Dolving still enjoys this record.

XingKing
September 2nd 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think this record should please fans of their first two or three records, if that is your preferred sound from these guys

PiedradeLuna
September 2nd 2014


233 Comments


XingKing, if that's the case I will give it a go for sure. Although, One Kill Wonder wasn't too great in my opinion and was just more of the same (at a lesser quality) then The Haunted Made Me Do It

XingKing
September 2nd 2014


16145 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is more in vein (heuheuheu) of Made Me Do It

PiedradeLuna
September 2nd 2014


233 Comments


Ha! I see what you did there. Clever.



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