Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Haunted: Unseen (2011)

The Haunted was formed from the ashes of the legendary At the Gates. I've been a big fan of their melodic death/thrash approach for a long time, as they were one of the first extreme metal bands I got into. And I was really looking forward to their latest, Unseen.

UnseenBefore Unseen was released, they asserted that they had recorded a pop album. Like many, I assumed this meant they had injected even more hooks into the album, to make it even catchier than before. All their albums have become increasingly hook-laden, but they never abandoned aggressiveness and power. Until now.

When they said "pop", they really meant pop. The music is drained of anything dangerous or exciting and replaced with repetitive, lifeless garbage. There's no blood or fire in the riffs, which bear only a vague resemblance to any of their previous work because they kept the same guitar tone. There are no solos to speak of, and the drumming is workmanlike. The vocals are limp, and the lyrics are paint-by-number relationship angst, adding to the sense that they're gunning for a tour with Nickelback and Fuel.

But the thing is, this isn's even good alt-metal. I was more impressed with Stone Sour's latest album than this. And that sucked, too. This album really, truly, has no redeeming qualities.

The Verdict: After reforming At the Gates, I would have thought they would have gone further in that direction. Century Media ruins another once-great band in their continuing quest to court the Hot Topic crowd. I give it 0 out of 5 stars.


  1. Yeah I kind of stayed away from this one after reading that they recorded a pop album as well. Plus Decibel gave it 0. Add that to the fact that as I have said before, I never really cared that much for The Haunted, and there is no way in hell I am going to touch this.

    I have one of their albums on vinyl, but that's more because I was really itching to buy something on vinyl one day and this was the best option.

  2. I listened to it when they started streaming it and immediately thought "Stone Sour". I then wrote this review and scheduled it to post today, and in the meantime saw the Decibel review. Same score, same Stone Sour reference. I thought about changing the reference to something else, but it really works.

    As I said, I really, really like their older albums. Nothing going for this one, though.

    Fun fact: This is only the second time I gave a 0. The last one was for a cello rock "tribute" to Opeth that sounded like it was just a programmed MIDI. I'm putting this on the same level of enjoyability.

    After a couple very negative posts, I promise to talk about something I actually like tomorrow.

  3. I remember you reviewing the cello tribute to Opeth. I would suggest this album is even worse though because we know The Haunted can do better.