The Haunted - Unseen
When I decided to write this review I was prepared that the feelings were gonna be mixed and the opinions will contradict in how this album was gonna reach the high expectations everyone had for ‘The Haunted’ based on their glorious legacy. So what I did was to listen to the album as it was without taking into consideration the past achievements of the band.
Different and totally experimental are the words I would use if I was told to describe ‘Unseen’. I tried to be open minded and give it a chance but the songs themselves were nothing more than uninspired, apart from some exceptions of course. The album kicks off with ‘Never Better’ a song that could somehow remind us the old ‘The Haunted’ until we reach its middle section where the things take a completley different turn and don’t seem to change for most of the album or at least until ‘Motionless’ which is a really decent song. ‘Unseen’ is not a riff-oriented record as there are only a handful of riffs in it and most of them are ruined by the alternative take on the orchestration, the same thing can be said about the drums as well. However,big thumbs up go to Peter Dolving whos in definitely improved in ‘Unseen’, with one vocal melody after the other with great hooks and catchy vocal lines, a lot of work has been done in the choruses as well which are diverse and memorable but do not feature ‘The Haunted’ signature sound, for example ‘The Skull’ could never been seen as the ‘The Haunted’ song until now unfortunately. The album has some great tracks as well, for example the stoner influenced ‘No Ghost’, ‘Disappear’ and the amazing title track are definitely worth checking but unfortunately three or even five good songs don’t make a great album. ‘Unseen’ continues in the same pace with only Dolving’s vocal approaches reminding us of the old band in some cases. ‘All Ends Well’ is another enjoyable song, followed by ‘Done’ as the album comes to an end. ‘Done’ begins with a mellow intro featuring clean guitars but it evolves just like the rest of the songs in its continuation.
Production-wise the album is flawless, with more weight being put on the vocals which are astonishing, with various Tool similarities thrown in them. They guitars have a nice crunchy tone, typical of the band, the bass is present and kicking and the drums are sounding great with clever ideas and interesting takes on the riffs as the speed is a lot slower in this album. Technically speaking this album sounds amazing.
Of course, I don’t think we can talk about a bad record here because if ‘Unseen’ was treated like an alternative release it wiould be highly praised, this record is just not what ‘The Haunted’ are known for. I respect the band’s decisions and I am a fan myself but this album is gonna cleave a lot of people’s opinions. The only thing you have to do is to go check it by yoursleves and find out if it’s to remain unseen… or not.
Standout tracks: Unseen, Disappear, No Ghost
Also Check: Deftones, Stone Sour, In Flames
1. Never Better
2. No Ghost
7. The Skull
8. Ocean Park
9. The City
11. All Ends Well
6/10 Lefteris K.