The Haunted

The Haunted Made Me Do It

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With the group's second effort on Earache and after enlisting a new vocalist and drummer, the Haunted rise in status to a role on par with important metal groups such as Entombed, Carcass, and mid-'80s Metallica, carefully balancing the fine line between raw extremity and accessibility. The majority of the 11 songs on The Haunted Made Me Do It never venture too far into complex progressive territory and never take their extremity to excessive abandon while still keeping their music far more innovative and intense than any metal band recording for a major label in 2000. Staying true to the complex and intense tendencies of underground metal without being too inaccessible isn't an easy task (only a small handful of metal bands have ever done it, and even fewer for more than one album). The Haunted seem to understand this balance well: their songs average around three to four minutes in length, their vocals are nearly intelligible, their sparingly placed guitar solos never become masturbatory, and their songwriting never breaks too far away from traditional song structuring. Furthermore, the band's new vocalist, Marco Aro, gleams with charisma and possesses a unique style that can't be classified as growling, screaming, yelling, or singing, often fluctuating from one style to the other with ease. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Haunted manage to bring a sense of melody to their songs that creeps into their choruses and bridges, bringing back memories of the mid-'80s when Metallica was an important group for similar reasons. Though time will ultimately tell whether or not this album proves to be as fresh as it tries to be, it seems to belong on the same pedestal as Entombed's Wolverine Blues, Carcass' Heartwork, and Metallica's Master of Puppets -- albums that crossed over from the underground without compromising their integrity.

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