If you look to genre in this review you will see that it reads Modern Metal, and not as it would have just 7 years ago Thrash Metal. Because The Haunted has evolved a great deal since their classic ragedriven debut from 1998. I have no doubt that mainman Peter Dolving still is as angry and haunted by inner demons as he was back then, but the music has taken a dirge in whatever direction the band has wanted it to take.
The Haunted is, and always will be, a band with the biggest integrity in my book - they do whatever they want and if you want to join them you're welcome, if not they certainly won't lose any sleep over it.
The evolution started on The Dead Eye in 2006 has now been driven full circle - gone is most of the speed in favor of a more groove oriented kind of music of the kind I know to be fun to play - but not to listen to in such amounts presented here. Gone is the anger and aggression - a thing I think was essential for The Haunted as a band, and after 10 or so listenings I can only sum up my impressions I one word: mediocre.
And this of course makes me sad because I really want to like The Haunted in whatever state, form or shape - but Unseen just makes me shrug my shoulders. Barely any impressions are sticking in my mind, musically, and for me Unseen marks the record where The Haunted seized to be an interesting band by virtue of their latest record.
Playingwise the band sounds as if on autopilot. Dolving still has a very interesting voice, and he really is the only one in the band who's pushing the envelope on this record. But this doesn't amount to as much when the music is as plain boring as it is, and although it's presented in a fine production by long-time collaborator Tue Madsen it certainly doesn't make me want to grade this with a high mark.
I really don't want to be the kind of reviewer that always favors a bands back catalogue over the newest record - but Unseen will not see the kind of playing at this reviewer's home that The Haunted, Made Me Do It or rEVOLVEr has seen.