Rating:
4.3
The Haunted - Unseen
16 March 2011


01. Never Better
02. No Ghost
03. Catch 22
04. Disappear
05. Motionless
06. Unseen
07. The Skull
08. Ocean Park
09. The City
10. Them
11. All Ends Well
12. Done

Limited edition bonus tracks:
13. Attention
14. The Reflection [live]
15. The Fallout [live]


These Swedes aren't unknown to most metal fans - hell, they've been around for about 15 years now. 15 years of relative stability in terms of their line-up too. Not only are they a stable veteran band, but they also helped further develop the whole melodeath/thrash movement. Not too shabby.

Now 15 years as a band should impress people. And in its own right, it is pretty impressive. But there's also an inherent problem that comes with writing music with pretty much the same people for a decade-and-a-half: stagnation. The Haunted ran out of gas. It happens to the best... er, well, it happens to everyone.

Now remove all thoughts of The Haunted's signature melodic death/thrash hybrid and think of what Tool would sound like if they weren't a prog band, or what Korn would sound like if they were a thrash band. That's pretty much what The Unseen is. It's a weird alternative form of some stripped down groove/thrash with some truly nauseating vocal work. Clean vocals. Almost exclusively. And "shouting". Kind of like what Derrick Green considers singing. Normally I'm not the kind of person to focus so much on vocals during a review because usually there's music to talk about, but that's not the case with this album. The vocals take center stage here because the music is just so simple.

This is the equivalent of modern day radio pop. You don't listen to Adele for her sweet guitar solos, you listen to see just how good a voice she has. Who even notices the piano? Okay, I'll admit I do, so that was a bad reference. But you get the point. Boring, slow, alternative, derivative, simple, wannabe catchy rock-style metal (did I miss anything?) that fails so miserably in the instrumental department your focus goes directly to the vocals, only to realize that that awful music is comparably a saving grace.

You're thinking "sellout", like Metallica's self-titled release, and there's definitely truth in that. This album reeks of marketability, something veering towards the oh-so-dreaded mainstream, everyone's worst nightmare: MTV. Because that's where all the simple, soulless, skeletal music goes that's written by musicians on the verge of an identity crisis, right?

Game over guys. Go drink some more and start a few bar brawls. Or is this what age does to all thrashers?

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 4
Production: 6


Band profile: The Haunted
Album: Unseen


 



Written on 30.11.2011 by
Troy Killjoy
Just another opinionated guy telling you what to listen to.
More reviews by Troy Killjoy ››



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Mr. Doctor - 30.11.2011 at 01:53  
*Sigh* It seems that after rEVOLVEr these guys just went downhill. Nothing after that album was really good :\
Kuroboshi - 30.11.2011 at 02:00  
One of the few times you've actually rated an album higher than me. This IS pop metal... Such a fall from grace. But Them was actually a really decent track. I think Dolving having kids is what wrecked this.

I don't want to be a disappointed fanboy ranting away, but I am inexplicably sad that the band that released rEVOLVEr and Made Me Do It has come to this. I'm of to listen to some Nile.
Void Eater - 30.11.2011 at 02:57  
"Or it this what age does to all thrashers?" Fixed for you. And the answer is no, via Bobby Blitz.
Boxcar Willy - 30.11.2011 at 03:26  
This album relly is shitty, the huanted made me do it is the only really good album by these guys.





and troy - 10000000 Kvlt points to you for listening to it
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 04:13  
Written by Void Eater on 30.11.2011 at 02:57
Fixed for you.

/fail on my part for not referencing tables.
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 04:13  
Written by Kuroboshi on 30.11.2011 at 02:00
One of the few times you've actually rated an album higher than me.

Dammit, I'm losing my touch.
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 04:14  
Written by Boxcar Willy on 30.11.2011 at 03:26
and troy - 10000000 Kvlt points to you for listening to it

10000000 kvlt points for you responding in this thread. HA
Boxcar Willy - 30.11.2011 at 04:21  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 30.11.2011 at 04:14

Written by Boxcar Willy on 30.11.2011 at 03:26
and troy - 10000000 Kvlt points to you for listening to it

10000000 kvlt points for you responding in this thread. HA

clever play... good sir.
Edmund Fogg - 30.11.2011 at 05:22  
Only herd One Kill Wonder from these guys. I thought it was pretty solid stuff. Your review did not make me me curious about the new stuff, but made me want to re-listen to the dusty stuff. Thank for that.
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 05:59  
Written by Edmund Fogg on 30.11.2011 at 05:22
Your review did not make me me curious about the new stuff, but made me want to re-listen to the dusty stuff.

silenius - 30.11.2011 at 07:03  
With Revolver being one of my all-time favorite albums im losing all hope for this band, everything after revolver is shit and this fucking abomination isnt even worth scraping the ice off of my car windows with. ME SO ANGRY AARGH
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 08:26  
Written by silenius on 30.11.2011 at 07:03
...everything after revolver is shit...

Pretty much, their first two were great and Revolver was really good too... Not sure what happened with them. Although someone else mentioned perhaps fatherhood has taken its toll on one of the members.
Diamonds - 30.11.2011 at 12:04  
I agree completely that this album is pretty sellouut-ish and that it's a total change in sound for The Haunted.. but i can't help but to enjoy myself when i listen to it.

and as a side note: to anyone who is bashing this album, or any other albums that have lightened up in comparison to their older music (ie. Opeth's 'Heritage') music, like people, will evolve over time. changes are bound to happen and for those of us who have been long time listeners it's a dissapointment, but to those of us who are new coming listeners it might be a welcome transition.. an open mind is the key to enjoying your music, don't be so quick to scrutinize .

^ none of that was towards the review, i was just stating my thoughts.
Merchant of Doom - 30.11.2011 at 12:56  
Next will be a concept album with Lou Reed...
Angelic Storm - 30.11.2011 at 13:36  
Whilst my rating and opinion of this album isn't quite as harsh as Troy's, it is a disappointment as I know The Haunted are capable of so much more than they've delivered here. Their unique brand of Gothenburg infused thrash impressed me greatly, when so many modern thrash bands just leave me feeling cold and unimpressed. The first 3 allbums were awesome, especially the first two, and "Revolver" was an amazing comeback for Peter Dolving to the band. Even "The Dead Eye" had some wonderful tracks on it, even if it was a patchy album overall, but this... it's decent enough, but as a whole, it's just lacking the spark and fire that makes the best Haunted material so captivating to listen to.

"The Skull", "No Ghost", "Motionless", and "The City" are good tracks though.

Nice review Troy!
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 17:15  
Written by Diamonds on 30.11.2011 at 12:04
music, like people, will evolve over time.

I know this wasn't targeting me but I will disagree here. Music will change over time, not always evolve. Because anyone who thinks this album is in any way musical evolution should get their head checked.
Troy Killjoy - 30.11.2011 at 17:16  
Written by Angelic Storm on 30.11.2011 at 13:36
Nice review Troy!

Thanks!
Milena - 30.11.2011 at 17:44  
Written by Diamonds on 30.11.2011 at 12:04

and as a side note: to anyone who is bashing this album, or any other albums that have lightened up in comparison to their older music (ie. Opeth's 'Heritage') music, like people, will evolve over time. changes are bound to happen and for those of us who have been long time listeners it's a dissapointment, but to those of us who are new coming listeners it might be a welcome transition.. an open mind is the key to enjoying your music, don't be so quick to scrutinize .

Tru dat, metal bands can't play METHUL all their career, nor be as awesome as during their golden period all their career.
Diamonds - 01.12.2011 at 05:08  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 30.11.2011 at 17:15

Written by Diamonds on 30.11.2011 at 12:04
music, like people, will evolve over time.

I know this wasn't targeting me but I will disagree here. Music will change over time, not always evolve. Because anyone who thinks this album is in any way musical evolution should get their head checked.


haha, that's true . it's deffinatly not an improvement by any means i'm just saying that i still find it pretty enjoyable, even if all the talent was sucked out of it.
hadriel - 02.12.2011 at 16:46  
Garbage album. Enjoyed the review though. Sucks because this band wasn't even all that bad not too long ago. I actually enjoyed their first few albums, but at this point I don't see a return to form really being in the cards.
deadone - 17.12.2013 at 03:31  
Marco is back so who knows what's going to happen.

2 out of last 3 albums were total and utter shite and the third remains a mystery to me as to whether I like it or not.

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