The Haunted rEVOLVEr

First off, I hate that fucking album name too, don’t worry. Anyway, big news here for the Haunted’s fourth disc (first for new label Century Media, after parting ways with long-time home Earache) is that original vocalist Peter Dolving is back, last heard on their first album. I preferred the other guy, but, really, it’s some guy screaming: don’t lose too much sleep over it. Dolving does a good job and actually manages to pull off a few new tricks, singing, growling, talking and being generally menacing over the 11 thrash tunes enclosed. And those tunes are just as slamming as ever, with the band still breathing new life into the tried and true Slayer riff as they double-time their way through, over and around every possible Haunted-ism one could hope for. But man, four albums in and I’m starting to hear riffs here that ring a bit too close to ghosts of thrash platters past, whereas two albums back every single moment sounded incredibly vital. While the whole Haunted experience isn’t really one based around new ideas, one wonders how many albums can be created out of it, even if said albums rock as hard as this unfortunately-titled one. These guys are not capable of releasing a stinker; at worst, they sleepwalk through their songs better than most bands could hope to at the peak of their powers. (Century Media)