The Haunted – Strength In Numbers
Album Review by Adam McCann
It’s been a bit of a hard road for The Haunted since 2012. Following the departure of long term members, the band has struggled to find the stride they had with 2011’s ‘The Unseen’, even the return of vocalist Marco Aro has done little to reignite the fire in the belly of the band. Cue 2017 and the release of ‘Strength in Numbers’.
‘Strength in Numbers’ isn’t exactly gripping stuff, The Haunted seem like a spectre of their former selves, the album itself is going through the motions with each track indistinguishable from the general run of the mill melodic death metal.
All that being said, ‘Strength in Numbers’ is certainly not unlistenable; the album clocks in at under 40 minutes and pounds its way relentlessly through from start to finish. Beginning with the rather decent one-two jab of ‘Brute Force’ and ‘Spark’, ‘Strength in Numbers’ promises to be a better album than the previous ‘Exit Wounds’. Unfortunately, ‘Strength in Numbers’ hits its pinnacle ridiculously quick leaving it a lot like teenage sex; it charges in like a rutting rhino and blows its payload leaving the remainder of the album to awkwardly fumble about.
As relentless as the second half of the album is, it is buried in a quagmire of pinch harmonics and jack hammering double bass, all hallmarks of the modern elements of melodic death metal, but the lyrics of Aro are just plain lacklustre, they fail to pull you in and therefore the album feels average at best. Aro even ‘borrows’ the melody from ‘Painkiller’ by Judas Priest during ‘Means to an End’ and although this does grab your attention, you can’t help wanting the song to say “this is the painkiller”.
It’s another year and another average album from The Haunted, yes its listenable, but has a habit of falling easily into background music, but you approach ‘Strength in Numbers’ without the expectations of it being another ‘Revolver’, then you might just begin to enjoy it.
Rating : 62/100
Strength in Numbers
Century Media Records
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann