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The Haunted | ‘Strength In Numbers’

The Haunted probably aren’t the first band most would remember when they think of the Swedish metal scene.

But they’ve kept themselves busy since 1996 by releasing plenty of music and playing shows all over the world (Including Ireland last January, supporting fellow Swedes Meshuggah).

Their last album, ‘Exit Wounds’, was a return to form with Marco and Adrian returning alongside newcomer Ola Englund.

Their latest album, ‘Strength in Numbers’, is, amazingly, their 9th – so it will be interesting to see if they can still make it interesting after 21 years.

With Ola Englund on board (Who is arguably more famous for his YouTube career demoing guitar gear, and making music production lessons for bedroom guitarists) there is going to be a high expectation for the album’s sound.

It takes a few seconds for the album to really kick in after a brief acoustic introduction, but the sound of the album immediately grabs you.

The guitar is very clearly defined and hits you right in the chest, the bass cuts cleanly through the mix like like a samurai sword, the drums hammer everything into your ears, and the vocals lead the song but don’t over power everything.

Overall a very good sound on this record, and the band feels well balanced in the mix. But can the songs keep the attention of the listener?

Tasty Display

‘Brute Force’, is full of vicious, punishing riffing that blend thrash and melodic death metal into a tasty display of what the modern metal scene has to offer.

After this frantic opener, the album moves onto a more melodic direction.

There’s less thrashing, and more layered songs.

The band starts to bring clean guitars, and more intricate guitar interplay into the sound. With songs that are well crafted, and feel like far more than just riffs and breakdowns glued together.

Thankfully the album still brings the relentless bashing that only the rhythm section from At the Gates could bring when needed (You’ll hear it best in ‘Tighten the Noose’, and aforementioned ‘Brute Force’).

Marco’s vocals are full of rage, continuing his influence from the world of hardcore punk. He doesn’t just want to just sing his lyrics, he wants your attention right now.

His vocals are also clearly defined and the lyrics come out quite clearly, which is no easy feat to achieve when utilizing such extreme vocals.

My main criticism of the album would be Marco’s vocals stay in the mid range and never seem to stray from their angry delivery. It would be interesting to hear more high pitched screams over parts of ‘Spark’ or ‘Monuments’.

Overall, The Haunted are a great example of an older band who’ve evolved with the genre to create a great mix of modern metal rhythm playing with the melodic styling of the 90’s Swedish death metal scene.

If you are a fan of the original Swedish death metal scene, or of the new brand of death and thrash metal coming out now a days, you should give this album your time.

3.3 / 5 – Cormac Jordan ::: 20/09/17

  1. “Their latest album, ‘Strength in Numbers’, is, amazingly, their 9th ”

    You’ve said it mate. Dreadful band and how they’ve made it to their 9th record is nothing short of a miracle. I did enjoy the first three albums and there was a good buzz about them back then, seemed like they were always here – great shows in Whelans, Dorans to name a few. But they never pushed on or delivered a truly classic record, that brute force track could be off any of their albums or a Dew Scented record or one of a million similar sounding bands.

  2. cave_dweller Says:

    Was this band ever relevant?? Just sounded like an At The Gates meets Slayer cover band back when they first came out. Never bothered a whole lot with them after that – and this sounds the same.

  3. Paul Keohane Says:

    I think the first two albums are pretty highly regarded,3rd one is good too,But after that ,utter shite.

    A killer like band in their prime to be fair!

  4. Paul Keohane Says:


  5. I loved “Made Me Do It” and “One Kill Wonder” and still do think they are class albums. “rEVOLVEr” I also like but I never could gel with Dolving as a vocalist. After that it all went downhill for me.

    These last two albums though seems like a return to form, and while that means basically the same music as the first 3 albums, I find them catchy and easy to listen to. The kind of music I’d throw on in the gym. Nothing ground breaking but enjoyable all the same.

  6. Ah lads, the absolute epitome of bog standard. Have been since day one.

  7. brianwilliams82 Says:

    “Was this band ever relevant?”

    For those of us getting into underground metal at the start of the 00s, yes, The Haunted were very much relevent. While I can see, with hindsight, how someone already well-versed in metal at the time mightn’t have been too enamoured with them, there was definitely a buzz about them for the first 3, 4 albums. I still spin the s/t and ‘One Kill Wonder’ fairly regularly.

    Plus, THAT riff in ‘Soul Fracture’ must get a mention!

  8. Made me do it was good, everything else forgettable bilge

  9. Yup – also rans. First couple of albums were ok – for those of us around to remember it at that time AtG were gone and sadly missed… these guys were a link to that. The Dorans gig was good, with The Crown in tow. But other times I saw them over the years they were dull and recorded output quality plummeted. Ola’s a great guitarist and his YouTube stuff is really good to be fair. I’ll give this a listen probably only cos he’s on it.

  10. Paul Keohane Says:

    It was a great gig that one,and the only time I ever say The Crown.

  11. I think I bumped into Jensen at that gig and he was sporting their excellent new tshirt with the back print ‘Swedish Ass Fuck’.

  12. A thoroughly pointless band. Filling the void in exactly nobody’s collection.

    Bought One Kill Wonder years ago and it was truly awful. Couldn’t remember a note of it before I was even finished listening to it.

  13. The years after Dolving returned saw a huge dip in form. All the post Aro albums were very poor except for The Dead Eye which was decent enough & had some great tracks. Exit wounds while not up there with their best stuff, it was certainly a move in the right direction. The new one is growing on me & I’m hoping the come here on the tour. I thought they were brilliant when the supported Meshuggah earlier in the year!

  14. They’re one of those bands where everyone has one or two of their albums but no one really likes them.

  15. These guys are fucking shocking. I’ll admit, I really enjoyed them back around the time of the first few records. I guess they were around at the right time. Megadeth were releasing shit like Risk so these guys filled a void. I dug out those albums after seeing they were supporting Meshuggah and man they have not aged well, I wondered if they were ever genuinely good at all!

    The Haunted looked like a local band at the Meshuggah show, they were well out of their depth. Having seen both frontmen many times, my preference is for Dolving – he’s less animated but a better fit and brings a bit of intensity to proceedings. Marco is a knuckledragger, his comedy is fucking pathetic crap that might have been funny when I was 13.

  16. Bought one kill wonder when it came out. First and last haunted album i bothered with. Everything sounded the same, and 15 years later… nothings changed.

  17. speaking as someone who got into ungerground metal in the 00’s this band has always sucked. Lowest common denominator, commercial thrash and my god those vox, boke!

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