Review of the Album "Versus" by Swedish Thrash Metal Band The Haunted
The Back of the Cover for the Album Versus
"Versus" is Still a Good Album
Swedish thrash metal veterans The Haunted may have reached their finest moment as a band with their 2006 album called The Dead Eye. In 2008, they released the album called "Versus" and vocalist Peter Dolving would make his return for this one as well. I just finished listening to the song Bury Your Dead which is without a doubt one of the finest songs in the history of this band. If you enjoyed that album from these Swedish veterans, then Versus should be a good listening experience.
How Are the Songs On the Album "Versus?"
In the early stages of the album Versus, the melody is clearly present and this is a bonus for any thrash metal band. So far, this album is not a mixed bag but rather a strong statement made by this band. Little Cage stylistically sounds to me a bit like the band Arch Enemy. These bands are both from Sweden and its really no surprise at all that they are so good musically. In terms of melodic thrash metal, I have to put this band near the top where they deserve to be. Every album from these guys is good enough to be at least a decent album.
Songs Like Moronic Colossus & Pieces Set a Good Tone for This 2008 Album
The first song called Moronic Colossus is a very heavy song that is about how human nature can be stupid at certain times. “Pieces” is a song that features a slight change of direction for this band as some clean, melodic vocals are present. This is the sort of change that Swedish band In Flames made as their career progressed but that’s how a band can grow musically. It isn’t just about wanting to look at what the trends are and copy them. Versus is an album that musically is a little toned down and slower than albums such as “The Haunted,” “Made Me Do It,” or “One Kill Wonder.” Little Cage may sound a little bit like nu-metal to some listeners but it is still a good song.
Even With an Album Like Versus, I Still Prefer the Vocals of Peter Dolving Over Marco Aro
With Marco Aro in the band, The Haunted sounds like more of a heavy death metal and thrash metal hybrid but with Peter Dolving, they have more of a groovy thrash metal feel to their music and there is more of a clean vocal usage.
As I listen to this album a second & third time through, I am in awe of how good a vocalist Peter Dolving is. He is different from Tom Araya or Marko Annala but he is a good, harsh shouting type of vocalist which is ideal for thrash metal. Marco Aro who would replace Dolving for a second time in 2012 has a harsher, rougher voice because his voice is of a lower octave and he is more difficult to understand. I prefer Dolving’s vocals to Marco Aro’s but it is a personal preference.
How is the Rest of the Album "Versus?"
Trenches is another song that addresses the flaws of human nature. If only the strong survive, then why do fools exist among us? In life, there are so many different kinds of people around us including those that are ignorant. Skuld is just an average song that has a softer feel and is once again about how some people in their attempt to be kind fail to do so. Rivers Run sees Peter Dolving switch to some softer vocals before he goes to a more recognizable vocal approach and I sense some Corrosion of Conformity style singing here but obviously The Haunted are far better than those guys. After about three full listens to the album Versus, the album in my view is not as good as their previous work but it still has a good mix of soft and heavy to keep me coming back to it.
Final score for the album Versus: 82 out of 100 points
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2019 Ara Vahanian