(Century Media)

01. Never Better
02. No Ghost
03. Catch 22
04. Disappear
05. Motionless
06. Unseen
07. The Skull
08. Ocean Park
09. The City
10. Them
11. All Ends Well
12. Done

RATING: 4/10

I'm not sure I remember the last time I've heard so much negative feedback about a new album. Typically I don't pay much attention to any of it, at least until I've submitted my own review of the product. But with THE HAUNTED's "Unseen" you could throw a pencil out the window and have a good chance of hitting someone that's jabbering on about it. Consequently, to say I wasn't expecting the worst would be a bald faced lie. For such a sharp departure from THE HAUNTED's relative "norm," including the progressiveness of "The Dead Eye", and given the bleak picture that's been painted, my first thought was, "hey, this isn't so bad". And then I kept listening.

That first song, "Never Better", is a bit of a shock, particularly the vocal patterns from Peter Dolving that are as close to rapping as anything else. The chorus at first seems kind of catchy, at least in a commercially-oriented sense. From there forward the journey is wildly uneven, dipping into styles of metal that aren't so much a problem because of the commercial orientation (good music is good music after all), but because they don't usually work very well and at times are just plain embarrassing. Such is the case with "All Ends Well", which comes off like a bad DANZIG remix masquerading as a dark pop song; awful. The same goes for the utter failure of "Motionless" and the mainstream blandness of "Disappear" and "Catch 22", both of which would in all likelihood make the average long-time fan feel irked and disappointed at the very least. After the first minute or so of "The Skull" things return to a thrashier territory more akin to the material on "Versus", except for the PANTERA style vocal bits, and then it shifts to a clean melodic chorus, which would be fine if it had a hook. "No Ghost" almost gets hopes back up with its mid-tempo, tough grooves, only to bring one back to the reality that it too is forgettable.

Forget about the stellar (for the most part) material that THE HAUNTED has released in its career and try to look at "Unseen" in isolation. I've tried it spin after spin and keep coming back to the opinion that it's a very weak album. At least the expansiveness of "The Dead Eye" worked in a sense that was progressive, yet still rooted in a beloved style. "Unseen" doesn't come anywhere close to being that type of album. There is nothing wrong with pushing boundaries and spreading wings, but this is just…not good. A 4/10 might is probably pushing it.


To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@) with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).