THE HAUNTED – Exit Wounds

thehaunted.exitwoundsShort review: Exit Wounds is THE HAUNTED‘s best album since One Kill Wonder.

[Read on for the longer version.]

After the excellent teaser, Eye of the Storm 7″, THE HAUNTED make their full declaration with Exit Wounds.  All the great things that make the them the best thrash band in the world are here in full force.  Led by returning vocalist Marco Aro and his career-best vocal performance, THE HAUNTED bring back the violent and dark themes, and prime riffing.

After the near career killing Unseen, the band had two choices: call it a day or remember what made them great.  In all facets, they chose the latter.  In addition to being their work in years, many songs on Exit Wounds rank as the best in their catalogue.  Songs like “Psychonaut,” “Trendkiller,” and “Time (Will Not Heal),” lay everything to waste.  The album is not perfect as there are two clunkers – one being “All I Have.”

New member, lead guitarist Ola Englund, could not be a more perfect fit.  His solos are impeccable as every single note perfectly placed and is line with THE HAUNTED-sound.

The bottom line is that we should celebrate the fact that one of metal’s best bands are back to form.  The thrash throne has been reclaimed.  (Century Media Records)

THE HAUNTED – Eye of the Storm

thehaunted.eyeofthestormNearly three years and three band members replaced and THE HAUNTED appear ready to atone for their previously subpar releases.  If the three songs on Eye of the Storm are any indication of where the band’s head is at, then it’s time to rejoice.  On this 7″, THE HAUNTED are back to doing what they do best: thrashing better than any band on the planet.

Generally speaking, THE HAUNTED reclaim the sound and style of their first three or four albums.  Interestingly, this digital single/7″ only gets faster with each song.  “Eye of the Storm” is a muscular song which features those sweet but short dynamics and touch of  melancholy that has made the band stand out during their career.  The intro riff on “Infiltrator” is just one of the sweetest metal riffs you’ll ever hear.  So damn good.  Finally, “My Enemy,” is a scorcher complete with Kerry King-like guitar whammy bar action.

Not only is Eye of the Storm a must for fans of the band, it’s a great reason to get excited for the next full-length.  (Century Media Records)

AT THE GATES Finally Announce the Obvious: They are Officially Back

Swedish death metal legends AT THE GATES are officially back.  With a reunion tour that hasn’t ended for years, the band have announced that they are working on a comeback studio album.  It is expected to be released worldwide by the end of 2014 via their new label partner Century Media Records.

AT THE GATES checked in with the following comment statement:

“So, here we are almost 24 years since the birth of AT THE GATES, and some 18+ years since our latest album ‘Slaughter Of The Soul‘. A lot of years have passed and we have embarked on some life-changing reunion tours and shows the last couple of years. So, why make a new album you might ask, and why now? Well, what we learned from the last couple of years hanging out and playing shows together, is that we enjoy what we do to the fullest extent. We love playing music together, and we love to hang out as friends. But, as a musician, we constantly write new music. It’s a huge part of our identities.

“We are fully aware that we have made some very drastic statements in interviews as well as the closing words on the DVD about the longevity of AT THE GATES, but things change, situations change and people change. When Anders sent the first song last summer, we had zero expectations of the outcome. We only knew one thing – That it sounded amazing! At the time we weren’t even sure there would be an album, but as things progressed, more songs came into existence, and we knew we were on to something great.

“We know you are all curious about the new material, and to make a simple explanation of where we are at musically, we would describe it as a perfect mix between early AT THE GATES & ‘Slaughter of the Soul‘-era AT THE GATES, trying to maintain the legacy and the history.

“We chose Century Media as a worldwide partner for the upcoming album. We have all been friends for years with people at the label. Jonas & Anders have a history with THE HAUNTED there (as well as Adrian with PARADISE LOST).

“So, we hope to bring you updates about the progress of the new album soon. The plan is to record the album in June/July with a tentative release in October / November of 2014 on Century Media Records.”

–AT THE GATES, January 27, 2014

Check out the band’s teaser (which does not provide any new music):

THE HAUNTED: First Music From Revamped Line-up “Eye of the Storm”

Swedish’s THE HAUNTED have begun the comeback after losing three-fifths of its band with the launch of their first single, “Eye of the Storm.” Check it out:

Eye of the Storm is available as a limited edition 7″ and as a digital single, which both feature three tracks.

The single marks THE HAUNTED‘s recording debut of the band’s revamped line-up, which includes founding members Jensen (guitars) and Jonas Björler (bass), returning members Marco Aro (vocals) and Adrian Erlandsson (drums), as well as new member Ola Englund (guitars).

Jensen comments: “There aren’t superlatives enough to describe how much the band has longed for these three songs to be released. We are sure fans have been anxious to know what the band sounds like today after all the turmoil and old members leaving and new members joining. We feel that these three songs represent the band perfectly. We are currently working on the new album, an album that will be filled to the brim with what we know to be ‘THE HAUNTED‘. We’ll start doing gigs this spring and we’ll do festivals all over the place this summer. Get in touch with the festivals you visit (and behave like an animal at) and tell them to get us on the bill! THE HAUNTED is back. Play it loud. No. Louder.”

Death Metal Supergroup VALLENFYRE Jumps into the Studio


VALLENFYRE has officially entered the studio to record their second full-length album and follow-up to 2011′s A Fragile King entitled Splinters.

Gregor Mackintosh (vocals and lead guitars) comments: “We have now arrived in a very cold Salem, MA and are currently holed up in Godcity Studio with producer Kurt Ballou tracking drums for our second album, ‘Splinters‘. We are really digging Kurt‘s honest, old-fashioned approach to recording. No triggers or samples. Just a good drum kit, good mics and a good drummer.”

In 2011, Gregor Mackintosh (PARADISE LOST) announced that he would go back to his death metal roots with his new band, VALLENFYRE. The level of expectation was set high with a line-up consisting of Hamish Glencross (guitar – MY DYING BRIDE), Scoot (bass – DOOM, EXTINCTION OF MANKIND), Adrian Erlandsson (drums – AT THE GATES, PARADISE LOST, THE HAUNTED) – and of course, Gregor on vocals (for the first time in his career!). Their debut, A Fragile King, was a reference to Gregor‘s father’s (lost) battle with cancer.

Check out the music video for “Cathedrals of Dread” from their debut:

AT THE GATES/Ex-THE HAUNTED Guitarist Anders Björler Launches Solo Project

Guitarist Anders Björler has announced the launch of his first solo album shortly after his exit from THE HAUNTED. The non-metal, instrumental album will be in a soundtrack-style of music inspired by “Italian Film Music (60/70s), Post Rock, Ambient,Progressive, Jazz, Swedish Folk Music.”

Here is Anders with more:

“This is what a month of recordings look like. I am doing some test mixes right now. This will be my first solo album.

“Note: This is NOT a ‘Metal’ project. Those of you who are familiar with my soundtrack/movie stuff for THE HAUNTED & AT THE GATES documentaries will know somewhat to expect…

“If not, check the ‘about’ tab, and you will get a general idea…

“Anyway, more news at a later date :)”

Guitarist Anders Björler and Drummer Per Möller Jensen Quit THE HAUNTED

Sweden’s THE HAUNTED have announced yet another exit of band members following vocalist Peter Dolving‘s recent departure. Guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen have also left the band. Here is word from the band:

“It’s with deep regret we have to inform you of another two departures from THE HAUNTED; guitarist Anders Björler and drummer Per Möller Jensen. No animosity whatsoever caused these events, nor are there any other feelings than that they will both be dearly missed. We wish them all the best in whatever, and wherever, their future endeavors will take them.

“For all you who have any knowledge about the band, and know how to count, you will realize that there are only two band members left; Jonas and myself. We are still committed to THE HAUNTED. However, in the light of these recent events, we honestly don’t know what will happen. We hope for your appreciation of our current situation, and for your patience.

“Thanks,
Jonas and Jensen

“Words from Anders:

“I feel that I have come to the end of the line regarding THE HAUNTED.
This is not a sudden or hasty decision. I have been contemplating it for the last couple of years.
Peter’s departure earlier this year made me more certain than ever that I had reached my personal goal
with THE HAUNTED, and that the time was right to call it quits.

“I have enjoyed every bit of the ride.
It’s been an overwhelming journey.
I would like to thank the other band members especially,
our crew through the years, and our fans worldwide for the experience and opportunity.
Thank you so much! The memories will be with me forever.

“I will of course continue writing music, but where that leads me?,
simply too early to say”

Anders”

Per released the following statement to Blabbermouth:

“This decision has been underway for a long time and cannot be attributed to Dolving‘s departure earlier this year.

“It’s been a good 13-year stint. All in all, I have no regrets.

“My penchant for music, creating — as in digging deep — and practicing has never been at a higher peak than now. When you throw musical differences between members in with that, I started feeling unfulfilled. This is not pointing fingers at anybody, but rather just seeing, accepting and acting on that fact.

“Thank you to everybody who has supported us over the years. I have countless memories from shows all over the world. I will cherish all that for the rest of my days, regardless. Thank you!

“This is my station right here, this is where I choose to get off the train and pursue new challenges.

“There will be new music shortly, some already written and recorded. News on this will follow at a later date.

“I wish all the best to Jonas, Jensen, Anders and Peter.”

CONVERGE and NAPALM DEATH Split 7″EP Coming Soon

Legendary bands CONVERGE and NAPALM DEATH have come together for a split release on Deathwish Inc.

Recorded as part of their new album sessions, CONVERGE offer up the blazing new song “No Light Escapes.” Also on the release, CONVERGE offer a “We Are the World” styled rendition of the influential ENTOMBED classic “Wolverine Blues.” Joining them in tribute is a number of friends including Tomas Lindberg (DISFEAR, AT THE GATES, LOCK UP), Aaron Turner (ISIS, OLD MAN GLOOM, SPLIT CRANIUM), Kevin Baker (APMD, THE HOPE CONSPIRACY), Brian Izzi (TRAP THEM), and more. A new CONVERGE album will surface later in 2012 on Epitaph/Deathwish Inc.

On the flip side, metal pioneers NAPALM DEATH offer up two new aural monsters. First, “Will By Mouth” erupts in classic grind fashion. Also on the release, NAPALM DEATH offer the slower and textural new song “No Impediment To Triumph (Bhopal)“. A deeply resonant number that lyrically sheds light on the horrific Bhopal Gas Tragedy of 1984.

Tickets for Extreme Metal Cruise, Barge to Hell, on Sale Now

The world’s first extreme metal cruise, Barge to Hell, featuring 40 bands of extreme metal’s best bands is set to depart from Miami, Florida on December 3, 2012 for Nassau, Bahamas and back on December 7, 2012.  Tickets are now on sale.  The luxury cruise will feature two performances from each band on three different stages, karaoke, and more.

So far 21 out of a total of 40 bands on board are known:

ARTILLERY
AT THE GATES
BELPHEGOR
ENSLAVED
HACKNEYED
HYPOCRISY
KAMPFAR
KRISIUN
LOUDBLAST
MOONSPELL
MORGOTH
PARADISE LOST
POSSESSED
ROTTING CHRIST
SACRED REICH
SANCTUARY
SEPULTURA
SIX FEET UNDER
SODOM
SOILWORK
SOLSTAFIR