CD Review: The Haunted: Exit Wounds

From the brink of breakup, The Haunted emerges with Exit Wounds

 

The thrash is strong with The Haunted’s eighth record Exit Wounds. The band appeared to be on the brink of break up when three of its members left, leaving only rhythm guitarist Patrick Jensen and bassist Jonas Bjorler. However, the band regrouped and brought back original drummer Adrian Erlandson, vocalist Marc Aro who sang on two of the band’s album and new guitarist Ola Englund (Sic Feet Under). This-not-so-new lineup reinvigorated the band as Exit Wounds is the group’s heaviest record since Revolver in 2004.

The experimental sound featured on the band’s previous two records Unseen in 2011 and Versus in 2008 are largely absent. Instead the band goes back to its roots from the first record and …Made Me Do It. The band is on full speed on “Cutting Teeth” with pummeling drums and the signature Gothenburg death metal riffs the group is known for. The boys are back in business and they want the world to know it. The industrial tinged of “Psychonaut” sounds like a freight train charging full speed down the tracks and its whirlwind riffing is clear Slayer worship.

Things slow down a bit on the galloping “Eye of the Storm,” which was released that past January. The tight, compressed riffing is simple yet technical and the epic lead harkens back to the grandiose sound of several tracks on …Made Me Do It. The mid-paced mayhem continues on the next track “Trend Killer,” which has a rebellious punk rock feel to it. The swinging Southern swag merges with Swedish melodicism on the hard hitting “All I Have.” It showcases the band’s diverse influences without treading into unfamiliar or unwelcome territory. The album closer “Ghost In The Machine” ends the record on a hardcore note. The foreboding riffs coupled with the doomsday lyrics makes this the perfect way to exit this record.

 

Exit Wounds is easily the best record The Haunted as released in a decade. Fans worried that the exit of Peter Dolving would hurt this band can rest easy as Marc Aro picks up where he left off on One kill Wonder. This is not a generic thrash in the slightest as the band is playing at its most technical and tightest. Fans of the band should most definitely pick this up as should any metalhead.

 

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