The Haunted

The Dead Eye

Written by: PP on 22/11/2006 17:15:07

"The Dead Eye" sees Swedish thrashers The Haunted sway even further away from the renowned At The Gates thrash metal sound that influenced all Gothenburg metal bands during the 90s. But not only that, "The Dead Eye" throws of away many of the elements that made "rEVOLVEr" have much critical acclaim, and instead resorts into much trendier ingredients and as a result loses much of its underground appeal.

Peter Dolving utilizes a much more screamo approach to his vocals than on "rEVOLVEr". Granted, he has always been a bit of a screamer, but it is even more highlighted on tracks like "The Reflection", where his vocals aren't as raspy as before, possibly due to the lackluster production, which played a big part in "rEVOLVEr"'s success, possibly due to him wanting to sound different. Either way it doesn't sound as mean as before. The crystal clear, razorsharp guitar assaults as we remember them from tracks like "99" and "All Against All" have been exchanged with a messier sound built more around the drums than the guitars unlike in the past. Melodic mini passages are present at a regular basis (see "The Flood", "The Prosecution"), and remind you of today's metalcore outfits more than the aggressive thrash metal of "rEVOLVEr", with "The Fallout" as the prime example of this. It's overly atmospheric introduction guitars follow a similar pattern to the likes of Killswitch Engage or Shadows Fall, and quiet/loud dynamics are the flavour of the week for the verse/chorus structure of the track.

Much of this is brought by the continously diminishing difference between modern thrash and metalcore, which in itself is not a bad thing. But where "The Dead Eye" doesn't deliver the stupendously high expectations it had on its shoulders, is in the memorable songs department. "The Medication" is great, aggressive and resembles "rEVOLVEr" songs the most with its catchy guitar hook, but it never reaches a point where it forces one to headbang or to humm along to the guitars silently in the way "All Against All" did.

Some of the songs come close, though. "The Shifter" is fast, evil and thirsts for your nods, and "The Stain"'s guitar work is thick enough to restore some of the vigor of the previous effort. But most songs on "The Dead Eye" sound like they've been watered down, toned down a bit to cater for their now-larger audience with far less understanding on complexities of traditional thrash metal. You could draw parallels between The Haunted and tigers before, whereas now the analogy falls closer to a puma. Still deadly, but not as frightening, and most definitely more mainstream.


Download: The Medication, The Shifter
For the fans of: At The Gates, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, Ateryu
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.10.2006
Century Media

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