THE HAUNTED Announces Revamped Line Up

Sweden’s THE HAUNTED are finally back in the spotlight after almost a year without public activity and re-structuring behind closed doors, following a major switch of line up’s around autumn of 2012.

But the time has finally come to break the silence and announce the return of THE HAUNTED to form…

THE HAUNTED 2013:

Jensen – Guitars
Ola Englund – Guitas
Marco Aro – Vocals
Jonas Björler – Bass
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums

Watch the following video for a proper introduction to the new THE HAUNTED line-up with interviews and fresh rehearsal room footage:


THE HAUNTED’s founding member and guitarist Jensen checked in to comment on the recent developments as follows:

THE HAUNTED went through some difficult times last year. Losing three band members is a pretty huge blow to any band. Jonas and I agreed immediately that we wanted to continue with the band, but we wanted to take our time and not rush into anything. Meanwhile, news from THE HAUNTED’s camp have been pretty scarce. This changes starting today. We are very happy to be able to present you a full band line-up. Some of you might recognize a few faces, some of you might not. Adrian Erlandsson is back on drums and Marco Aro is back on vocals. Adrian you might know from playing on our first album and Marco sang on ‘The Haunted Made Me Do It,’ ‘Live Rounds In Tokyo‘ and ‘One Kill Wonder.’ On guitar we also have Ola Englund bringing some pretty heavy chops to the band.

“We’re all VERY excited about having THE HAUNTED back in working shape again and we can’t wait to get back out on the road to play for our very patient and faithful fans again. A new album is also already in the works and if you are familiar with the individual band members of this new line-up, you can be assured that the new material will grab you by the throat from the get-go!

“A huge ‘thanks’ goes out to all the people that responded to our call for new members applications. You put a lot of time and effort into your auditions and we are very grateful to have had such talented and cool people wanting to join the band! We truly appreciated your support!”

Expect more news about THE HAUNTED’s next album and their upcoming touring plans soon…

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.”

Underground Gems: CARDINAL SIN – Spiteful Intent EP

Tried and true warriors all know of the greatness of DISSECTION‘s classic, The Somberlain, released in 1993. The album featured guitarist John Zwetsloot‘s skills and knowledge in not only the composition of the songs but also in the classical guitar songs that he played throughout the album. He left the band in 1994 and eventually started CARDINAL SIN.

The band’s sole release, Spiteful Intent, is more or less The Somberlain‘s little brother. Zwetsloot‘s familiar classical guitars, blazing dual guitar melodies, dynamic songs, and a melancholic feel are this release’s bread and butter. The organic, natural production is also a great reminder of that era of Swedish metal. Bass is clear in the mix and the drums do not sound processed.

The only downside is that Spiteful Intent is only an EP – three songs and one acoustic outro. Perhaps, a full length would’ve been great or not so great. We’ll never know. This EP goes for a good amount of money on ebay.com since it’s been long out of print…a natural result of being released on a small underground label in limited numbers with limited distribution.

As a little tid bit, Zwetsloot tried out for the vacant guitar spot in THE HAUNTED prior to the band giving it to Anders Bjorler.

Here are the first three songs for your listening pleasure:

THE HAUNTED – Unseen

Let it be officially declared that THE HAUNTED are done thrashing. As if the band’s previous few releases were any clue, Unseen is an unequivocal statement that the former Swedish thrashers have long moved onto find new sounds. Leave your old views of the band behind if you want to give yourself any chance of enjoying Unseen.

Unseen is a further departure away from fist in the face metal, and demonstrates the band’s exploration of various heavy rock sounds. The pace is slowed to mostly mid-tempos. Aggression and heaviness do not compose the record’s hallmarks either. The album’s tone is brooding and slithering; perhaps not unlike TOOL to a lesser degree.

The record is a mixed bag in terms of quality. Some work, some don’t.
Motionless,” “Unseen,” and “The City” are, by far, Unseen‘s best tracks. “All Ends Well” is not bad; it’s got a great vocal chorus. “No Ghost” sounds a little out of place with its mid-tempo, heavy bluesy rock. “Catch 22” and “Disappear” are brooding tracks with plenty of TOOL influences. Songs like “The Skull,” “Ocean Park,” and “Done” don’t really do much.

Peter Dolving largely ditches his monotone yelling vocals (ala Tom Araya) and sings on the majority of the record. While it’s great to hear his charismatic and multidimensional singing, some vocal lines sound great while others don’t quite hit. There’s no doubting the personal and emotional nature of the lyrics though.

One can feel the effort put into this record but too often the execution isn’t there. Perhaps an EP of the strongest songs would’ve been best. However, that would’ve sacrificed artistic integrity. At the end of the day, the band has put forth too many solid, jawdropping records for lower standards to be acceptable. (Century Media Records)

WITCHERY – Witchkrieg

After taking a breather in their respective other bands, namely THE HAUNTED, OPETH, and ARCH ENEMY, the members of WITCHERY offer Witchkrieg, the first album with vocalist Legion (ex-MARDUK) on board. Upon first glance, Legion’s vocals are much more varied than when he had the monotone screech in MARDUK – unfortunately, most of his vocals are masked by too many effects, which cheapens the excitement of the new vocalist.

Witchkrieg” opens with the crunchy, old school WITCHERY sound, with nice, crisp production, as the album starts off with a lot of promise. Kerry King’s trademark solo fits the opening track perfectly, and sounds completely in tune with the music. But the album is quite bi-polar, as a song like “The God Who Fell From Earth” opens with a bland nu-metal riff, and even guitar master Hank Shermann cannot save this blunder. “Conqueror’s Return” has a few headbanging riffs, but the layers of effects on the vocals make the song almost unbearable. Witchkrieg thrashes away with “The Reaver,” and the trade off solos from EXODUSGary Holt and Lee Altus show that this album has glimpses of brilliance.

Witchkrieg falls into the cliché of cheesy songwriting, as “From Dead to Worse” has a great opening, but the chorus is so bland that it sounds like Nathan Explosion of DETHKLOK is singing; fortunately, the solos from Andy LaRocque adds a nice flair to the end. “Devil Rides Out” is classic WITCHERY material, and “Hellhound” is a fast, brutal, and all out thrash attack.

Witchkrieg is an average effort, as there are good riffs scattered around here and there, but is mostly mediocre and somewhat disappointing. The band should always be looked upon as just a side project, as guitarist Jensen has used up all his good riffs in THE HAUNTED. While the plethora of guest musicians add a nice touch to the album, it’s safe to say that people have given this band more credit than they deserve. (Century Media Records)

THE HAUNTED – Road Kill

While some bands in the metal genre (i.e. PANTERA, MANOWAR) choose to celebrate the excesses of the wild side of rock ‘n roll lifestyle on their DVDs, THE HAUNTED have chosen to give their fans a more sobering and perhaps more well-rounded look into the touring life of an underground metal band.

The centerpiece of Road Kill is a 65-minute documentary about life on the road, warts and all. The documentary is broken up into different topics/aspects of touring, such as “Hygiene” and “Partying,” with interviews with all of the band’s members, past and present, and their crew and fellow tourmates throughout the years. In a way, it’s a nice history of the band starting from the time that former vocalist Marco Aro quit and original vocalist Peter Dolving rejoined the band. The documentary gives a painfully accurate and thorough education of the trials and tribulations of road life. It’ll leave a different impression on the viewer depending on the viewer’s personal knowledge about this unglamorous side of rock ‘n roll.

The remainder of the DVD is comprised of a 2009 live show in Amsterdam, and THE HAUNTED’s last six music videos. The show is tastefully captured with a dash of subtle style in the form of its sepia color tones, and intimate camera views. The crowd is kept dark while the performance of the band is the sole subject. Road Kill also comes with a CD which is the audio companion of the Amsterdam show along with a few extra songs from the show. And yes, bass is nice and audible. Lastly, five unreleased studio tracks are included. While these aforementioned tracks won’t blast your face off, they are pretty cool and are essential additions to any HAUNTED fans’ collections.

Even though Road Kill intentionally omits the pomp and circumstance of other depictions of the touring life, it’s just as honest and down to earth as THE HAUNTED. (Century Media Records)

THE HAUNTED to Release Warning Shots 2 Disc Compilation

Swedish heavyweights THE HAUNTED have announced details of new double disc compilation that details the bands time with Earache Records, from 1998 – 2003.

Titled Warning Shots, the album contains 28 of songs, including a second disc with many rare and unreleased songs. The booklet contains an extensive interview with bass player Jonas Bjorler, conducted with respected UK rock critic Dominic Lawson, examining the early years of the band and reflecting on the material included on the compilation.

The full tracklist for Warning Shots is as follows:

Disc 1 – containing tracks from the three albums The Haunted, The Haunted Made Me Do It and One Kill Wonder:

01 “Hate Song
02 “Trespass
03 “Shadow World
04 “D.O.A.
05 “Undead
06 “One Kill Wonder
07 “Under the Surface
08 “In vein
09 “Hollow Ground
10 “Everlasting
11 “Dark Intentions
12 “Bury Your Dead
13 “Shithead
14 “Chasm
15 “Revelation
16 “Forensick

Disc 2 – Off the Record – containing rare and unreleased material

01 “Ritual” (One Kill Wonder session track)
02 “Creed” (One Kill Wonder session track)
03 “Well of Souls” (CANDLEMASS cover)
04 “Eclipse” (The Haunted Made Me Do It session track)
05 “Choke Hold” (live)
06 “Leech” (live)
07 “Three Times” (live)
08 “Undead” (demo)*
09 “Shattered” (demo) (from Statements of Intent compilation)
10 “Undead” (DEATH & 1/2 PROD rehearsal)*
11 “Now You Know” (DEATH & 1/2 PROD rehearsal)*
12 “Blood Rust” (DEATH & 1/2 PROD rehearsal)*

* previously unreleased

The final 3 tracks on Disc 2 were recorded in pre-THE HAUNTED times, before the band had settled on a final band name. The tracks come from a rehearsal tape made at a time when the band were considering the name DEATH & 1/2 PROD.

Warning Shots will be released in Europe on March 9, with a US release on April 7.