I have a love/hate relationship with The Haunted.
It seems their revolving door of band members does have an effect on how fans perceive them and also has a vast effect on the quality of the music. Peter Dolving made his departure well known, and The Haunted‘s future was unforeseeable to the world, but 2014 brings them back, with Marco Aro back on vocals. I’ll admit, Made Me Do It is by far my favorite of their releases, and I prefer Aro’s vocals to Dolving’s. The Haunted seemed to be wandering aimlessly on both Versus and Unseen, and I really don’t care for either album, but Exit Wounds brings back The Haunted of old, and they have a new energy and lease on their musical life. They take everything they did right in the past, throw in a whole lot of thrash, mix in some Gothenburg melodies, and some hardcore and you have Exit Wounds.
“317” launches a thunderous wall of fury and riffs, leading right into “Cutting Teeth.” “Cutting Teeth” and “My Salvation” both have a Slayer-type feel, and they kick right out of the gate. “Psychonaut” continues the brutality, and “Eye of The Storm,” the first single, is heavy and groove-oriented at the same time. “Trendkiller” is my favorite here, and it’s angry and heavy with guest appearances from Chuck Billy and Jed Simon. It is exactly what you expect from metal. “Time (Will Not Heal)” is an epic combination of genres, mixing brutality with melody. “All I Have” really reminds me of Pantera.
The Haunted, despite all of the recent turmoil, have made their most solid release since Made Me Do It. Exit Wounds is an excellent album and will fit solidly in my top 10 of 2014 … so far!
Exit Wounds is out now on Century Media Records.
Rating: 5/5 stars