In a couple of recent interviews The Haunted singer Peter Dolving discussed the new direction of Unseen, their latest album. He disclosed it would be an arty-farty, almost danceable affair with quite an experimental edge. His statement fed my curiosity and with the arrival of Unseen in my mail box I couldn’t control myself any longer and gave it a couple of spins in my CD player. And yes, Peter Dolving is right on the money with his remarks on the musical direction of Unseen

The latest offering by The Haunted is quite a departure of what they did on rEVOLVEr (2003) and Versus (2008). The trademark furious thrash metal sound is all but gone in favour of a more groove orientated laid-back approach. The closest thing to Unseen would be the experimental nature of The Dead Eye (2006), an album that divided their fan base to the core.

Their new approach works particularly well with the mid paced tracks like ‘No Ghost’, ‘Catch 22’, ‘The City’ and the title track. The flirtations with southern rock and increased clean vocals by Peter Dolving give Unseen a rather fresh angle. All isn’t well with the faster paced tracks though. ‘Never Better’, ‘Motionless’ and ‘The Skull’ lack the aggression and impact of songs like ’99’, ‘All Against All’ and ‘Moronic Colossus’. A pity really. ‘Ocean Park’ is a strange acoustic styled camp fire song that doesn’t make much sense to me.

Tue Madsen always delivers when it comes to powerful productions and his work on Unseen is no exception to that rule. In fact, it’s the best sound any The Haunted album has ever had.

Unseen is a strange animal. I do appreciate the experimental course and it has its fair share of really great songs. On the other hand it features some less convincing material as well. Perhaps this is one experiment too many…

The Haunted – Official Website