Sunday 26 October 2014

The Haunted - Exit Wounds (Album Review)

Album Type: Full length
Date Released: 25/8/2014
Label: Century Media Records

‘Exit Wounds’ CD/DD/LP track listing:

01. 317 (1:31)
02. Cutting Teeth (3:24)
03. My Salvation (4:02)
04. Psychonaut (3:24)
05. Eye Of The Storm (3:49)
06. Trend Killer (3:12)
07. Time (Will Not Heal) (3:41)
08. All I Have (3:04)
09. Temptation (3:17)
10. My Enemy (1:00)
11. Kill The Light (4:08)
12. This War (2:28)
13. Infiltrator (3:32)
14. Ghost In The Machine (3:36)

The Band:

Marco Aro | vocals
Jensen | guitars
Ola Englund | guitars & solo guitars
Jonas Björler | bass guitar
Adrian Erlandsson | drums


To this particular metal head writing this article, there are different bands I will listen to in order accentuate my mood.  If I’m feeling down, I’ll play Down; if I’m feeling happy, I’ll play Motorhead; if I’m feeling like I need to don robes and shake a church to its foundations, then Sunn O))) is probably the band that will be fuelling my mind.  Today, however, is all about thrills.  And the most thrill seeking, riff-reeking rock-a-coaster album slammed right into my ears when I needed it the most.  I’m talking about ‘Exit Wounds’, the new album from Gothenburg rampagers The Haunted. 

Hyperbole aside, this riotous new album is a frenzy-fest of sick riffs and sicker lyrics, spat out at you through your speakers with a cobra’s venomous intent.  Following on from their EP release earlier in the year and also 2011’s ‘Unseen’, ‘Exit Wounds’ makes a crashing impact into your listening world; and, at 14 tracks long, it’s a mighty blast of metal bang for your buck. 

This new album is laced with Lamb of God rage, Slayer thrash, and a tincture of Pantera groove.  If it’s full-on aural carnage you’re after, then look no further.  Tracks like ‘Psychonaut’ and ‘Kill the Light’ pound like a battering ram against your eardrums and resonate inside your head long after the songs have finished; and ‘Time (Will Not Heal)’ had me banging my head in joyous abandon with its rolling, buoyant waves of riffs. 

However, ‘All I Have’ made me stand up and take notice.  It has this Black Label Society quality to it: brash, stomping riffs and Zakk Wylde pinch harmonics snapped off like rounds from a Magnum.  However, it also has this real gravitas, a sense of bitterness which vocalist Marco Aro brings to raw life with his lyrics and seething vocals.  The music is bold, the lyrics are bleak, and it’s this subtle contrast that made me come back to this song again and again. 

The Haunted have been through a baptism of fire: having changed their lineup after having three members leave, things can sometimes be a bit sketchy for a band that has suffered such a major change to their formation.  However, this Swedish quintet have returned, galvanized and focused on their primary goal, and that is to make your speakers and your ears their bitch.  And, trust me, with ‘Exit Wounds’, they have done just that.  Get ready to sit up and beg for The Haunted. 

Words by: Chris Markwell

You can pick up a copy here

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