It’s been almost three years since THE HAUNTED last graced us with their presence. Well, the wait is over my metal friends because new album Strength In Numbers is out now via Century Media Records. Boasting the same line-up as the last release, this one finds the band even more locked and loaded, if that’s possible. Vocalist Marco Aro is a snarling pitbull on the whole thing, the lead guitars of Ola Englund and rhythmic driving from guitarist Patrik Jensen work hand-in-hand, while bassist Jonas Björler and drummer Adrian Erlandsson hold down the low end and hard hits respectively. If you thought Exit Wounds was a fluke, boy were you wrong. These guys still have a ton of savage music left in them.
A perfect example of this is “Tighten the Noose,” one of the album’s heaviest, angriest cuts, and one hell of a standout. Opener “Brute Force” is up there on the viciousness scale, too. They definitely wanted to come out swinging on this record, and that’s exactly what they do. “Spark” was an instant favorite due to the wall of riffage from Jensen and Englund as well as Aro’s delivery, and “Preachers of Death” is the kind of song that holds a nail gun to your temple and toys with pulling the trigger while also employing a ton of melody. So duh, I loved it!! Title track “Strength In Numbers” holds your already battered head over the oven and lowers it down until your noggin is on fire.
“This Is the End” has a mid-tempo pacing, and the band sounds thick as The Blob in both the original and the remake. “The Fall” is one of those tracks that just kicks you up the ass and leaves you bloodied and broken, with a sore ass and spitting your teeth out like sunflower seeds. Another winner for sure! The meatgrinder feel of “Means to An End” makes it another one to put on the heavy scale, and closer “Monuments” certainly shows off the individual talents of everyone in the band, but at the same time there’s a beautiful cohesiveness in the song.
At the end of the day THE HAUNTED prove once again that they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of Heavy Metal. And if this new album Strength In Numbers is any indication, then get ready to have your asses kicked on a global scale. This is a band that takes no prisoners and leaves it all out there on their recordings. It’s real, and you can feel that from the first note to the last. Well done, gentlemen.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Tighten the Noose”, “Spark”, “The Fall”, “Strength In Numbers”