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Reviewed by Niklas
Special guests: Mercenary, Memfis
City: Stockholm, Sweden
Venue: Debaser Medis
Date: 08 November 2006
The Haunted set length: 75 Min.


The Haunted

When going to a The Haunted-show you can always rely on that you will be served fast and furious thrash, angry outbursts from the eccentric front man Peter Dolving and one hell of a ride down on the floor with the audience. But this particular night turned out to be a bit different from the previous ones I've spent with The Haunted. A certain album called The Dead Eye has a lot to answer for, since it brings out the avant-garde side of the band that haven't been seen earlier. Exactly how well would the new material suit the live-format?

First and foremost - what a crushing opening! While the intro The Premonition fills the air of Debaser Medis with excitement, the curtains draw aside to reveal the band standing dead still on the stage, almost like the shadowy scenery-figures that always accompany their shows. Then The Flood practically makes the whole place explode, and the next track, the thrash-fest The Medication, is an even bigger hit with the crowd. These gems are followed by my all-time The Haunted-favourite 99, and you kind of start wondering where all this will end.

Peter Dolving, today sporting a Mohican-haircut that together with his flexing biceps make him resemble the imposing Rammstein-vocalist Till Lindemann, is unusually sparse with the words in-between songs. Considering that we're dealing with the holder of the sharpest pen in the metal-world (you have all read his blog, haven't you?) one might suspect that the cat got his tongue, but it soon becomes apparent that Dolving lets the songs do the talking. And how relieved he must be to see the fans really appreciating the new material, which is considerably different from the old stuff and takes its fair share of time to get into.

The greatest surprise is that the songs from The Dead Eye brings more dynamic into the performance, something that I feel have been lacking from previous The Haunted-shows. For every introvert, slow composition like The Medusa, The Reflection or The Cynic, there's always a Trespass, All Against All or Hate Song to balance it out with. They are not afraid of choosing more "difficult" new songs like The Guilt Trip and The Fallout, instead of taking the easy way with old-school Haunted-cuts like The Shifter or The Stain, neither which are played tonight but surely would have been great successes.

After 75 minutes the band says goodnight, but I found myself wanting even more. But the encore never arrived, which felt a bit awkward, especially since the band performed three more songs on previous shows on this European mini-tour. The guys probably had their reasons, but a Haunted-gig without D.O.A. just doesn't feel right, does it? Except for this minor complaint, I have no objections whatsoever. Hopefully we will be able to see The Haunted live many times next year, because this is a band currently operating at the top of their game.

8 chalices of 10


01. The Premonition
02. The Flood
03. The Medication
04. 99
05. Abysmal
06. In Vein
07. The Medusa
08. Trespass
09. The Reflection
10. All Against All
11. The Guilt Trip
12. The Prosecution
13. Shadow World
14. Sweet Relief
15. The Fallout
16. The Cynic
17. Hate Song
18. Dark Intentions
19. Bury Your Dead

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