The Haunted – One Kill Wonder – Review

The Haunted

One Kill Wonder (Earache)
by Martin Popoff

For a fleeting minute there I was a little ticked off that the best songs on this album were the two instrumentals (“Demon Eyes” should be some radio show’s theme song). But then quickly, the record leapt to life, One Kill Wonder sonically frying my system with its perfect drum sound, Marco’s purely thrashy vocal attack, its groove at these unsafe speeds. The sound is rougher, more crackly and live than that of Made Me Do It, snapping this band back to a purity perhaps wistfully pined-for amongst things like The Crown or Carnal Forge or old Soilwork.

And the riffs, oy vey, the way they weave, build, complement each other, slice, stab the spaces, then recoil. It’s all further grist (as if any more were needed) for calling Sweden the Iommi of countries. They could’ve used a few more slow ones, although my favorite on the album is a pretty speedy number called “Shithead,” followed closely, granted, by the atmospheric and textured “Bloodletting.” Marks off for brevity at 38 minutes, although I know, I know… “You can’t take much more that that! You need a break!” to which I answer, the logical conclusion is, why not spare us any grief whatsoever and just send out blank CDs?
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