Century Media 2011
Over the years The Haunted‘s continued sonic exploration has evolved into a full blown identity crisis that would appear incurable. “Unseen” finds this musical schizophrenia reaching a fever pitch with the band unapologetically committing to a variety of stylistic shifts on a song by song basis.
There’s the swampy soulful riffing of “No Ghost“, a song that conjures memories of “Deliverance“-era Corrosion Of Conformity. The emotionally emboldened melodic rock of “Motionless” that wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on a My Chemical Romance record.
And of course there’s also the thick, somewhat angular riffing and detached vocal presence of the albums title track – an undertaking which greatly reflects band frontman Peter Dolving‘s previous work in Mary Beats Jane by way of Tool.
A dense and challenging listen, “Unseen” doesn’t so much as find The Haunted hyperactive as it does artistically lost. The variety is appreciated to an extent, but there’s little in the way of a foundation, sans some inspired riffing, to tie the songs together; making it almost a given that each listener will have their own select few tracks they will choose to skip over.
Those hoping for a return to the bands thrashy, heavier roots will be thoroughly disappointed as those days appear to be long gone. If anything “Unseen” sets itself up as a modern rock n’ roll album without the standardized radio rock aspirations.
Sad then that it is an edgy, if not convoluted, balancing act between melody and aggression that tries to offer something for everyone and ultimately overextends itself in the process.
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