The Haunted – Strength in Numbers (Review)

The HauntedThe Haunted are a Swedish thrash metal band and this is their ninth album.

The Haunted have produced quite the ripping album with their latest offering. Blimey. This is aggressive thrash metal played with style, passion, and plenty of riffs.

Fast and direct, both melody and groove are injected in the appropriate moments to help flesh out the storming music even further. The band’s approach to thrash is that of multiple musical eras combined, with the songwriting skill and sense of dynamics that’s inherent to the old-school, mixed with the bite, knowledge, and modern metal know-how of more contemporary styles.

The songs are exactly what you would want to hear from The Haunted in 2017. Gone is the more wandering, hit-and-miss nature of some of their work, and instead we get a version of The Haunted which fans will be familiar with from probably over 15 years ago – tight, focused, streamlined, quality-controlled.

For all of its aggression though, The Haunted have learned from their various forays into other musical areas over the years. Strength in Numbers may provide 38 minutes of thrash, but it’s thrash that’s intelligent and well-crafted. Nuanced, subtle, technical, melodically complex, introspective, and emotive content are all included in various ways and at various points across the release; the genius of the band comes from being able to incorporate all of these elements into a heavy, aggressive framework that allows the songs to appeal to fans of high-impact, direct-appeal music, while also providing enough depth and substance for people that want more than just raw brutality and heaviness. The Haunted provide both, and on Strength in Numbers they do this consistently better than they have done previously on some of their release.

The songs are catchy and memorable, with lots of hooks and barbed appeal. The production is crisp and punchy, allowing the band the sonic freedom and clarity to mercilessly hunt down their victims with ease. The singer’s voice is great to hear once more, barking out clipped, efficient lyrics over the impressive and enjoyable music. It’s hard to find any fault with this album, to be honest.

Strength in Numbers is one of the best albums that The Haunted have released, it’s that simple. Fans of thrash or groove metal had better give this a listen, as it’s a roaring, ripping ride that also has massive replay value.

A great achievement.

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