The Haunted Biography
Last updated: 01/13/2010 11:00:00 AM
For bands that matter, the formula of their sound often rests with one or more key founding members. In the case of Sweden's internationally acclaimed band THE HAUNTED which was spawned in the mid-‘90s, songwriter/guitarist Anders Björler and lyricist/vocalist Peter Dolving were seminal architects. This is further proven by the long anticipated return of Dolving to the fold on the group's new album rEVOLVEr in 2004. With only the inspiration of their anger as a guide, these five men prove that their art is not an attempt to solve the problems caused by the pathology of civilization; their only concern is to state those problems correctly. Riding the laurels of being crowned as "the single greatest exponents of balls-out metal in the world" by Kerrang! Magazine, there is nothing to do but gape in awestruck amazement in the face of THE HAUNTED's arsenal of virtuosity in its purest form.
No force can abolish the memory of what THE HAUNTED's 1998 self-titled debut album accomplished. Its solid sense of purpose galvanized the band's presence on contact, with countless publications lauding them as "Newcomer Of The Year" and earning the prestige of the only debut album ever to receive "Album Of The Year" honors from Terrorizer Magazine. With 12 songs, they staged an upheaval not only in the Swedish metal scene but also around the world by setting a new standard for truly innovative thrash metal. Touring the U.K. with Napalm Death, THE HAUNTED quickly established an enviable live reputation and soon outshined all their contemporaries. The combination of founding members Jensen (ex-Séance/ex-Satanic Slaughter/current Witchery guitarist), former At The Gates' drummer Adrian Erlandsson (now with Cradle Of Filth), kindred tag team bassist & guitarist Jonas & Anders Björler (ex-At The Gates), and vocalist Peter Dolving of Mary Beats Jane guaranteed musical excellence. Complementing the collective instrumental virtuosity was Dolving's performance, which - graced with unflinching candor and scalpel-like insight into human behavior - navigated fearlessly through the explorations into the power of the human voice and the depths of unmitigated anger.
As expected in every musician's life, the chance to pursue other life ambitions surfaces and often alters the course of one's career. For rabid fans of THE HAUNTED, that decisive moment came much too soon for two vital members, prompting the recruitment of vocalist Marco Aro (ex-Face Down) and Danish drummer Per Möller Jensen (ex-Invocator/ex-Konkhra) in 1999. The new line-up's first tour was with Bay Area legends Testament throughout the United States, preceded by dates in Greece and Sweden and an appearance at the 2000 Decibel Festival in their motherland. Their highly anticipated release for 2000, The Haunted Made Me Do It , held the number one slot on the CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart for four weeks, clinched exposure on MTV's "You Hear It First," and won a Swedish Grammy for Best Hard Rock Album. European tours with Entombed and Nile, The Crown in Great Britain, In Flames through Japan, and headlining Scandinavian dates followed, including one-off appearances at California's November To Dismember Festival and CBGB's in New York City. 2001 bore witness to a North American tour with Cannibal Corpse/Dimmu Borgir/Lamb Of God, festival appearances at 2000 Decibel and Hultsfred (Sweden), Graspop (Belgium), and Wacken Open Air (Germany), and THE HAUNTED's live album, Live Rounds In Tokyo . It seemed nothing could stop the band's ascent when suddenly, lead guitarist/songwriter Anders Björler announced his resignation and left in August 2001. Opting to secure what they worked so hard to achieve, THE HAUNTED recruited touring guitarist Marcus Sunesson of The Crown for their North American headlining tour with Witchery and headlining Scandinavian shows. Their diligence paid off with Anders' return less than one year later, just in time to contribute to the group's third studio album.
With the release of One Kill Wonder in 2003, the band broke their own record with five weeks at Number One on the CMJ Loud Rock Radio Chart. Alternative Press hailed THE HAUNTED as one of metal's 25 Most Important Bands while the album dominated the metal press and radio charts around the world, earning the group their first tour of Australia and South Africa, a return tour to Japan, and a second Swedish Grammy. After another demanding tour schedule through North America, the U.K., Europe and Scandinavia, vocalist Marco Aro's sudden departure came as a surprise, yet opened the door to a welcome 2004 reunion with original vocalist Peter Dolving, granting the opportunity to rekindle their renowned frenetic energy and elaborate on their formula of sound instigated six years ago.
Recorded at Studio Fredman (Dimmu Borgir, Arch Enemy, Opeth) with co-producers Patrik J. Steen & Fredrik Nordström, rEVOLVEr is part abandoned and wild, part immensely controlled and sophisticated and - above all - loud, rampaging, and prone to aggressive introspection of the human condition. Part sociologist, part moralist and part philosopher, Dolving and his all-encompassing rage have not faltered. Brutally honest and brilliantly eloquent, he maintains a sharp observational distance and possesses bone-deep empathy for characters corrupted or forsaken by society. The immeasurable craftsmanship and profound musical unity of the twin Björler Brothers' bloodline is extremely evident. Intrinsic to THE HAUNTED's chemistry is chief alchemist Jensen's songwriting prowess and intuitive foundation of rhythmic finesse, while Per Möller Jensen's drum work deems him inhuman (again) through his unerring sense of timing and violent meticulousness.
Face it: EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS A LIE, and there is no room for apathy given our limited chances of survival in this Darwinian world. States Peter Dolving, "It's only natural to seek out oblivion. It's the only way we can survive once we see the horror of this sick society," proving that revolt is absolutely necessary to counter a mindless existence. Tracks like "Liquid Burns," "Who Will Decide" (featuring Sick Of It All's Lou Koller), "Sabotage," "Sweet Relief," and the conversational naturalness of "My Shadow" not only attest to the boundless versatility and creative expanse of this masterful line-up, they officially classify THE HAUNTED as a weapon to be used against this bitter life of conflicts. Resistance to extinction is an extremely beautiful thing to behold, and it is also beautifully extreme. Offering no apologies for its consciousness-raising, this album's first track says it all: NO COMPROMISE.