The discovery of a new band is always exciting. Will it be something you’ve heard countless times? An experience that leaves a bad taste in your mouth? Or is it a treat from which you cannot stop consuming? I wanted to take a trip back in time to reminisce about bands/albums that not only introduced me to heavy music, but kept me coming back for more…
From The Archive: The Haunted – Made Me Do It
Gothenburg metal, better known as melodic death metal, is a style in which plenty of people in the metal scene are familiar with, and for good reason. It was very prominent in the late 90’s with bands like, Dark Tranquillity, At The Gates, and In Flames being pioneers of this style, mainly for the fact that many of the bands at the forefront of the genre were from the Scandinavian and Northern European regions. It had trademarks of death metal, but incorporated the addition of more melodic elements such as, choruses, riffs and making more use of keyboards. I quickly latched onto this genre like a leech, scouring the internet and magazines for other bands that played melodeath, and since there are to many to list that I enjoy, I will start with a band that formed from the ashes of At The Gates, The Haunted…
Consisting of members from At The Gates and Witchery, The Haunted formed in 1996 and since then, have released six full-length albums. Their first album featured Peter Dolving on vocals, but soon after it’s release, Dolving along with Adrian Erlandsson (drums) left the band, leaving The Haunted in search of replacements. Marco Aro, from Sweden’s Face Down, was recruited as the new vocalist and Per Möller Jensen as their drummer. With a solid lineup, the band went on to record what I believe to be one of their best albums, Made Me Do It, or as the title is meant to be called with inclusion of the band name, The Haunted Made Me Do It. Whereas their first album was more thrash, Made Me Do It was their first foray in the Gothenburg style. Released in 2000, this album was quickly noticed, topping the CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart in only four weeks and also winning a Swedish Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album.
The album starts off with “Dark Intentions”, an instrumental intro full of catchy riffs and plenty of speed, which ultimately sets up the whole tone for the album. The intro leads into “Bury Your Dead”, which continues the pace and delivers plenty of riffs and hooks. The latter half of the song transitions to a more groovy, slower tempo and helps a bit to give the song a more cohesive feel. The next tracks follow suit, but the middle of the album is where The Haunted catch you off guard, with “Hollow Ground”, presenting a memorable chorus and pummeling riffs, the song flows from section to section with ease, making it one of the stand out tracks on the album. “Revelation” brings back the fast, unrelenting speed and rage presented in the early part of the album, and pretty much from there on, the rest of the songs are in the same vein, except for a few mid-paced songs with some well thought out melodies spread throughout.
Is the album groundbreaking, not at all, is it a classic melodeath album, of course. The Haunted get a lot of negative feedback due to the fact they are considered a lackluster At The Gates, and even At The Gates has it’s fair share of haters. But I took the time to listen to the album and being a fan of At The Gates, I felt right at home with The Haunted. The same can be said for their follow up to Made Me Do It, One Kill Wonder, but when Marco left the band, I to, began to slowly drift away from their music. I personally prefer Marco to Dolving, and I know other people prefer Dolving, and that’s perfectly fine as it doesn’t take away that they have two solid albums I can listen to and enjoy.
The Haunted – “Bury Your Dead”