The Haunted – Exit Wounds

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Review by Mark Granger

Century Media

Release date: 25 August 2014

Although The Haunted have seen many members come and go, the line-up seemed to stabilise in the last decade, that is until 2012 when singer Peter Dolving left (again) along with drummer Per Möller Jensen and Anders Björler, long-time guitarist and brother of bassist Jonas. In their place came Dolving’s original replacement Marco Aro and original drummer (and founding member) Adrian Erlandsson along with new recruit Ola Englund to fill Björler’s not-inconsiderable shoes on guitar.

So does that mean that Exit Wounds will sound radically different? The freshly reshuffled line-up has surely inspired the band to explore brave new avenues right? Well, no. The Haunted do brutal thrash inspired metal brilliantly and they haven’t changed a thing. In fact the band could time travel back a decade and release this album as a follow up to 2003’s One Kill Wonder and nobody would notice, except possibly the 2004 version of The Haunted but let’s not get caught up in the dangers and intricacies of time travel eh?

‘Cutting Teeth’ opens the record with classic Haunted riffage and Aro’s relentless roar showing no signs of having dulled in his years away from the band and from thereon in the band doesn’t disappoint. Songs like ‘Kill The Light’ and ‘This War’ have lightning speed riffs that Slayer would be proud of and ‘Eye Of The Storm’ gallops along like an extreme Iron Maiden. ‘Time (Will Not Heal)’ sees the band get a little bit of a groove on but it’s ‘Trendkiller’ that manages to throws up the most surprises, not least in the form of a guest vocal from Testament’s Chuck Billy. Sounding like a mash up of ‘Wolverine Blues’-era Entombed and early Slipknot, this is The Haunted at their most accessible, but it doesn’t last long and album closer ‘Ghost In The Machine’ features some of Marco Aro’s most throat shredding vocal work yet. Combine this with doomy choruses and thrash verses and you have a song that personifies everything that’s great about this band. Exit Wounds is the sound of a band that despite any inter band problems are still firing on all cylinders.

The Haunted – Exit Wounds8 out of 10

Track Listing:

  1. 317
  2. Cutting Teeth
  3. My Salvation
  4. Psychonaut
  5. Eye Of The Storm
  6. Trend Killer
  7. Time (Will Not Heal)
  8. All I Have
  9. Temptation
  10. My Enemy
  11. Kill The Light
  12. This War
  13. Infiltrator
  14. Ghost In The Machine