REVIEW: THE HAUNTED – “Strength In Numbers”
The Haunted have crafted a stunning album with the release of ‘Strength In Numbers’. The voracious riffs and crushing grooves of ‘Exit Wounds’ remain intact – however, the band has grown more cohesive in their songwriting and performance. The music on ‘Strength In Numbers’ is more intoxicating and addictive than ever before.
After one listen to this album, I was hooked. ‘Strength In Numbers’ induces a grimacing face of rage as you scream with the music and shake your fists at the sky. The intense rhythmic force of the music combined with the vicious power of Marco Aro’s vocals, flows through you in a wave of orgasmic fury.
As I listened to this album, I was either screaming with Marco, punching out some percussive bass with Jonas Bjorler, bouncing my legs to the beat of Adrian Erlandsson, or air-guitaring like a motherfucker with Patrik Jensen and Ola Englund. The music on this album is phenomenal in its ability to grip you tight and shake you to the core.
The album opens with a quasi-prog-metal intro “Fill The Darkness With Black”. This song wonderfully foreshadows some of the technical and melodic aspects weaved into the savage composition of this recording. From here, you are pummeled with “Brute Force”. The naked aggression in Aro’s vocals reaffirm The Haunted’s commitment to heavy and authentic music.
The pacing of ‘Strength In Numbers’ is calculated to keep you interested, and highlights the superior songwriting within the album. “Spark” reveals a festival of barbed hooks that latch into your brain, while “Preachers Of Death” provides a delightfully satisfying mix of punishing riffs with an expansive chorus. “Tighten The Noose” is a jaw-snapping thrasher designed for maximal violence.
On top of the superb musical performance is a great mix. In a typical metal album, the bass is lost in a sea of guitar and drums. On ‘Strength In Numbers’ however, each instrument has ample separation. This makes the album even more enjoyable to listen to at any volume, with the preferred one being 11.
‘Strength In Numbers’ by The Haunted is one of the best albums of 2017. The beatific songwriting combined with the unworldly hooks that saturate the songs is magnificent. Weaving progressive features into an album full of brazen brutality is an act of genius. As such legendary bands as Pantera and Slayer have accomplished before them, The Haunted have created an album that bores into your heart and soul. The impact of the music is physically and emotionally rewarding, allowing you to release all your fears, pain, and anger with the burning light of heavy metal.