Time heals like a doctor is what many people claim. Time changes everything in life is what I personally think. The longing of a new album by The Haunted has changed through the years and few can tell they had the same hunger for a new album by them since they have started to change their direction. The first signs of change came when Marco Aro left and Peter Dolving re-entered the band, which came with the release of ”rEVOLVEr”. The word ”evolve” was in capitals on the album’s title  and this is what they did since then in the seven years and three albums that have followed (”rEVOLVEr”, ”The Dead Eye” and ”Versus”). And here comes the new album ”Unseen” to be put to the test.

In a time where metal fans are craving for heaviness, speed and brutality more than ever, The Haunted take a large amount of spit in their mouths and launch it on the faces of all those who thought they could continue playing like the first same titled album. I can’t hide the fact that I also wanted them to become a little faster this time, as ”Versus” had some signs of recovery compared to the Metallica’s same titled album aesthetics that ”The Dead Eye” was surrounded by. And this is also the time that I wave goodbye to the old The Haunted I knew and the time to realize that nothing will be as I witnessed it being given birth in the distant 1998 where they shocked the world, pronounced as ”the new Slayer” back then.

This time The Haunted shock again, but not in the same way. This time they show more than ever that they are willing to push to the limit the endurance of their fans, by releasing their most mature release, consisting of twelve songs in mid tempo atmosphere mostly, with Peter Dolving offering us more directions of his vocal range, the riffs remaining heavy but exploring bands from Clutch to Metallica, from Saint Vitus to Deftones and from Black Sabbath to Pantera. The awesome production becomes an extra secret weapon and it keeps the songs tight as a unit, so much that by the end of the album it feels like you heard a big song with numerous changes, without this meaning that the songs don’t differ a lot compared to each other.

”Never Better” that starts the album states the mood of the band’s members I guess. More certain than ever, having took over the world and having nothing to prove, established as one of the best things that happened to the metal scene the last 15 years, they simply don’t give a fuck about what’s going on around them. They dare to follow their hearts and ignore the possible negative reactions, and this shows attitude. It is certain that they will be accused of being commercial, having lost the spark and will of their first three albums, playing safe because they sell a lot of records and such stuff. Well, life is what you make it they say, and they decide to walk this lonely road fully aware of their future vision.

It is needless to state any specific songs, as I think everyone will find his personal faves on this album (”Motionless and the title track are some of mine). What I am pretty sure about, is that if they go on the same direction (which is the same possible and impossible when we talk about them), they will give us an even better and mature album than ”Unseen”. It is an album you have to listen very carefully, once you want to discover what’s going on in it and maybe try and understand their sceptics. After numerous efforts, I think it grows in me every time I push the play button. I can’t forget their past, but I also can’t turn my back on them, though I might do the same with any other band that would dare such a thing. But ”Unseen” has quality in it, so I can’t be unfair to them, though I have still the right to be strict.

Track List Line Up
01.Never Better
02.No Ghost
03.Catch 22
07.The Skull
08.Ocean Park
09.The City
11.All Ends Well
12.DoneBonus Tracks

Bonus Tracks13.Attention
14.The Reflection (Live)
15.The Fallout (Live)

Peter Dolving – Vocals
Patrik Jensen – Guitars
Anders Björler – Guitars
Jonas Björler – Bass
Per Moller Jensen – Drums