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The Haunted. A band that saw thrash through its darkest years with only this band and Sodom's M16 album to sate the tastes of lovers of extremely fast heavy metal. Formed from the ashes of At the Gates but arising like the phoenix itself to conquer a new genre. Now with their new album, they're competing for sales with Metallica, Holy Moses and Trivium this September, but this has never been a band to back away from a challenge and the Bjorler bros may not surpass the new Metallica album in terms of quality, but I'll be damned I said that this album isn't better than the other two.
The first thing that you'll notice upon the first listen is that it is a lot more aggressive than The Dead Eye but still has enough tracks that are less thrashy and more experimental, which will cater more towards the previous album's fans. All taken, it's a solid thrash album for 2008. It's just a shame that all the good albums from the genre are coming out in the same month and we all know who's going to win in terms of sales.
The first five tracks are incredibly fast and aggressive and recall the sound of their first album which is a good thing given that they haven't really done that since Peter Dolving came back into the band and got them to go in a more experimental direction. Of the first five tracks, the best is the opener Moronic Colossus due to its sheer catchiness. Not that the four following tracks are bad by any means, its just that Moronic Colossus is just that good of a track and I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the first single from the album.
By the time that the album comes to the track Skuld, the sound of The Dead Eye returns with a very atmospheric and percussion-heavy beginning with some chants that give the track the feel of an old western movie. However the following track goes back to being thrashy again and is appropriately named Crusher and sounds so much heavier than it is due to it following up such a soft song beforehand. The next two tracks are more in the experimental vein, and are followed up by another thrashy track and then a slow grinding number at the end that's reminiscent of Strapping Young Lad's Bring on the Young and ends with Peter Dolving sounding like a southern preacher.
In the end, it plays like two EPs rather than one single album, but the songs are good enough to not detract from that. However, I can't really recommend a purchase given that Metallica's new album is just so much better. This album's undoing simply has much more to do with timing than it does with its actual sound. Than again, when has timing mattered to The Hunted?