In a day and age where bands pride themselves on “moving forward” and “stepping ahead,” it’s nice to see a band take a step backwards. As some of you may know this band is actually the remains of the group At The Gates. At The Gates have always had a black/death metal approach to their music; however this group has decided to go to their roots and put out a thrash album! It may not be thrash in the strictest sense that us old-timers remember, but all I really know for sure is that this is just a great album no matter what you call it. You might loosely relate the music to the peak of the Slayer era back in the ’80s. This album isn’t just about re-living an old theme — the Haunted have put together some impressive songs. The music is aggressive and challenging and the production complements this style of music. The vocals are constant screaming, but in some songs like “Blood Rust” they manage to overlay some impressive harmonies. They also manage to branch out a bit with the nearly all spoken word track “Forensick 1 & 2” which ends with a candidate for metal riff of the year. Earache America, 295 Lafayette St, Ste 915, New York, NY 10012-2700; http://www.earache.com

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