AlbumsNovember 29, 201112,245 views

The Haunted Unseen

01. Never Better 02. No Ghost 03. Catch 22 04. Disappear 05. Motionless 06. Unseen 07. The Skull 08. Ocean Park 09. The City 10. Them 11. All Ends Well 12. Done
2011 Century Media Records
Our score 2


Being a fan of The Haunted hasn't been easy. After One Kill Wonder, many hopped off this band's wagon, but I hung on even when the wheels were falling off with the albums The Dead Eye and rEVOLVEr. Now it's time to jump, tuck, and roll. Seriously, what the fuck is this? These are the some of the same musicians that wrote "Slaughter of the Soul?" Are these even the same guys who did "D.O.A.?" I'm all for progression and experimentation, and yeah they got Dolving back on vocals, but still... c'mon dudes. You're supposed to go forward, not down the drain. Unseen shows zero signs of the band that I once defended against all the haters. Opener "Never Better" is the biggest contradiction in a song title ever. It starts heavy as hell then shits the bed with the sung chorus of "Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust." Like we've never heard that before. "Catch 22" is a mishmash of falsetto awkwardness, pralines, and dick with its self explanatory mantra of "damned if you do, damned if you don't." Just when you thought it couldn't get worse, "Disappear" arrives via 2001. Disturbed meets Hoobastank in Linkin Park complete with another cliché of "now I lay me down to sleep." No joke, this one of the worst turns a band has ever taken, and that includes Load/Reload. On "Motionless" and the title track, singer Pete Dolving cries over uninspired rock riffs attempting to sound like Maynard from Opiate-era Tool, only less innovative and even less angry. Everything just sounds... safe; Which is odd, because this is the biggest chance The Haunted could take. Whatever fanbase remains will definitely be alienated. Perhaps they will garner more mainstream attention, but all their underground cred is shot to shit. "The City" is the closest it comes to cool. Strong vocals and a dirty guitar line show a glimmer of hope for a metal song. Just when it gets good, it ends. Lame. "All Ends Well" is another lie. A cock-rock take on one-night stands, really? The aptly named closer "Done" comes about 40 minutes too late. It's acoustically tinged with a Beatles-styled harmony in the middle and builds up only to end abruptly. This is the same downtuned tripe heard in preprogrammed rock radio rotation. The Haunted are now Europe's answer to Nickelback. How can a once solid metal act transform into this pinnacle of mediocrity? The only saving graces are "No Ghost," which sounds like Deliverance era C.O.C mixed with Clutch, and "The Skull" with its intricate intro and heavy bridge. Everything else, just skip it. Bottom Line: On Unseen it's The Haunted who are truly scary. Like, scary bad.


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