The Haunted - rEVOLVEr
Century Media
11 songs (45:52)
Release year: 2004
The Haunted, Century Media
Reviewed by Jay

When The Haunted announced that Marco Aro had left the band and was replaced by Peter Dolving, the buzz on the internet was positive. Most people disliked Aro’s vocals and were hoping for a return to the same style of their debut album. I, on the other hand, much preferred Aro’s vocals. Peter Dolving always sounded like a hardcore singer to me and Marco Aro had a much more metal edge to his delivery. Only time would tell what the band would sound like. As the album title suggests, this album tries to progress their sound much more than any of their other albums have. They certainly break new ground with this album and radically change their sound on a few of the tracks.

One of the best aspects of One Kill Wonder was the gritty guitar sound. Anders Bjorler had said that they wanted a raw aspect to their sound on the album and to have it sound like it did in the practice room. The trend is greatly reversed on this album. The guitar sound returns to its ultra-polished shine as with the second album. Mixer Tue Madsen did a magnificent job on this record. Even at frenetic paces, not one drumbeat is lost and the bass comes through crystal clear. This slick production is certainly evocative of The Haunted Made Me Do It.

Peter Dolving’s vocals do not agree with me though. He tries hard and it shows. You could call this the most metal performance a hardcore singer could give. However, the majority of his vocals are not the metal screeches that Marco Aro could muster. You hear flashes of brilliance in several places but overall Marco is the glove that fits this band much better. That said, his performance on songs like "99" do kick serious ass. Of course, this has to be contrasted with "Who Will Decide" which he does pure hardcore vocals (this track also has vocals by Sick of it All vocalist Lou Koller). "My Shadow" presents another side of Dolving in which a majority of the vocals are spoken word similar to the closing track of the self-titled disc, "Forensick." This album also has a chorus that is sung in clean vocals. If Dolving did the clean singing, I’m impressed. He sounds a lot like Ozzy and there is a quite haunting quality to the words. This track is a definite diversion from their usual sound but in the end provides an amazing and ominous album closer. It draws influence heavily from blues and early Black Sabbath and is totally unlike anything they’ve attempted before. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes, it’s also the longest track they’ve released to date.

As a contrast, the album kicks off with "No Compromise," which is their signature sound. Slayer-esque riffs, ass-kicking tempo and the thrashified At the Gates riffs abound the first album quickly comes to mind. Other tracks of note are "Abysmal" in which slower tempos and semi-spoken lyrics are experimented with again. The experiment fails in this case. All of the emotion that is expressed in "My Shadow" is lost here. Certainly a skipper on repeated listens. "Sabotage," "Liquid Burns" and "Sweet Relief" are the only other two high-speed riff-a-thons left on the album. "All Against All" creates a new grove but I can’t stand Dolving on this track. He does have an impressive entropy to his vocals but his delivery doesn’t feel natural over the music. Despite him, it’s a nice melody and bass-driven foot-tapper.

Two more underwhelming tracks are present. "Burnt To a Shell" falls into the same pit fall as "Abysmal" in terms of not being able to rectify the slower tempo properly. "Nothing Right" gets nothing right in terms of song structure, melody, vocals or interest just as the title suggests. This track is simplistic by their standards and could be more easily suited to some sludge stoner metal band sans Dolving. The bottom line is that the band wanted to redefine their sound. Some people will be blown away by these changes. Many won’t. However the people who liked the first album will probably quit bitching about the vocals as they have for the last two albums. Regardless, The Haunted is capable of better than this. Certainly not their best work and not a fitting follow up to One Kill Wonder.

Killing Songs :
No Compromise, My Shadow, Sabotage, 99
Jay quoted 67 / 100
Other albums by The Haunted that we have reviewed:
The Haunted - Exit Wounds reviewed by Goat and quoted 73 / 100
The Haunted - Unseen reviewed by Goat and quoted 83 / 100
The Haunted - Versus reviewed by Goat and quoted 76 / 100
The Haunted - The Dead Eye reviewed by Dylan and quoted 41 / 100
The Haunted - Caught on Tape DVD reviewed by Jay and quoted no quote
To see all 8 reviews click here
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