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A tedious, monotonous chore to listen to - 35%

violentrestitution, March 26th, 2012

I used to be a pretty big fan of this band when I was just getting into death metal, they were a gateway band for me because of how accessible and simplistic their style of death metal was..However years later, coming back to this stuff is just equally painful and embarrassing because of how low quality this is. Mid paced chug-riffing style death metal can be good when it has enough interesting riffs or "grooves" to keep the listener captivated enough to endure it. This doesn't happen on this record. Instead you're treated to almost 40 minutes of the same riff repeated over and over just at different tempos. I really only liked Chris Barnes in Tomb of the Mutilated and even then he wasn't that amazing, something about his voice sounds forcefully grunted and straining to breathe. He sings at the same pitch without changing except for a few shrieks which aren't bad admittedly, but it doesn't really help all that much to the songwriting.

Still, the general consensus with this album is that you'll be forced to endure almost 40 minutes of one chord chugging throughout the majority of each song, because that's all the songwriting consists of. Its like this album tries so hard to entwine the listener in some sort of rockin' groove but it never establishes its self. It just kind of annoys the fuck out of me, not only because of how boring it is, but because of the production as well. The vocals are mixed highest and right from the bat its a shitty sign because the vocals are so monotonous and uncomfortable to listen to. Chris Barnes sounds like hes straining to stay alive because he runs out of breath in some songs. The guitars are so flat and uninteresting as well, everything is just standard drop whatever tuning (not a guitar guy) it wouldn't really be that big of a problem if the guitars did ANYTHING other than plodding along with one damn chord for 75% of the song. I don't believe there's even a bass on this album which would really help the damn thing be a little more interesting, the drums don't ever do anything exciting as well. It just keeps a simple beat throughout the boring uninspired chug fest. Let me remind you this is all at a pretty slow tempo so its even more bleh

Some of the songs just try to cheap its way out of having awful songwriting by just having sub-standard "catchy" chorus's like Still Alive, its just really cheesy and lame. I really don't think anything this album was going for worked at all. It doesn't create any atmosphere or feeling at all, the entire thing is just a slab of emotionless bruting generic death metal. When you get 3 songs into this thing you don't really need to listen to the rest of it. Every song basically follows the same formula. Have one main idea for a riff, repeat it during a chorus, fill the rest of the space with chugging groove sections while the vocalist tries to create some sort of brutal scene with the childish lyrics. However, it isn't ALL excruciatingly bad. Human Target is alright, it has a listenable riff, but yet is nothing really original, Suffering In Ecstasy while not a good song is at least a break from the total mid-paced borefest previously shown with its slightly fast riffing, and Barnes vocals aren't that bad here. However, the entire thing really just feels like a bunch of imbeciles picked up some instruments in a garage and played the most simplistic thing that came to mind first, wrote it all down walked into a studio a day later and recorded it and here you go fellas, here's Haunted!

I can totally see the appeal to this to someone perhaps new to the style of music, its fairly accessible, simple, and easy to digest.. It's just not rewarding at all. There's no atmosphere, no depth, no energy, it just feels like an empty plate with a few crumbs left of what would of been a great meal. So really, I can only recommend this to people who want to try to get into death metal, even if its not the best thing to start with it could certainly help, because it did for me. But for anyone who already likes death metal, or "extreme" metal really, stay away from this. It's really fuckin' boring