rEVOLVEr (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff
You gotta trust that The Haunted were going to press like acupuncture the metal cure points. Peter Dolving is back in the band (he throated the seminal debut), and that was going to improve the lyrics (this guy has lived, and nearly died, lives numbering those of a black alley cat), although his vocals are like any number of thrashers. Let’s face it: There is no shortage of thrash vocalists we complain about, yet how many are singled out for notable praise above and beyond that vocalist’s given thrash package, even if the band is superlatively and unanimously deemed upper echelon? Alas, Peter’s just another. But as lyric writer and musical contributor, Dolving injects sophistication and passion to the presentation, as if the Bjorlers and Jensen needed any prodding to throw the horns. Self-produced, rEVOLVEr is as hard as vodka-splashed triple-paned glass, reflecting the voluminous, luminous yet very specific metal know-how gained from backbands like At The Gates, Witchery, Séance, and Mary Beats Jane. What flies out the other end like a cutting chain is an old school thrash record by the gifted class of qualified mid-graders, again, given the hard-to-pinpoint, scattered life cycle of thrash, probably the best batch of enthusiastic metal brains to deliver such a strangely conservative, immediately satisfying collection of uncut gems.