The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham - 17/01/2009
The Haunted are a band who have evolved into a beast altogether different from the turn of Millennium thrashers they once were.
They’ve experimented, had numerous line-up changes, and received a fair amount of criticism from both the press and fans alike.
With the release of last year’s ’Versus’ comes a return to their more aggressive roots; especially noticeable after previous album ’The Dead Eye’ being arguably their most experimental and melodic. So even though I might sometimes pine for ’the good old days’, ’Versus’ is a cracking return to form, and I can definitely appreciate what the Haunted are all about in 2009.
It’s a sell-out crowd at The Rescue Rooms tonight, and the venue is absolutely heaving. It’s always been a great place for gigs, as it attracts a lot of the ’bigger’ bands and yet it’s relatively small size keeps things nice and intimate. Having only seen The Haunted once before (briefly, and from half a mile away at a large open-air festival), I’m looking forward to this.
When the band takes to the stage, the crowd immediately start chanting, and you can feel that everyone here is up for it. We’re all packed in like sardines by this point anyway, so it’s a tad late if anyone’s thinking about leaving. There’s an upstairs balcony area that would have allowed for some breathing room, but after 13 years of going to gigs I still maintain that you can’t beat the experience of being up close and in the mixer.
Launching straight into ‘Little Cage’ from their latest offering, this isn’t a band who are going to ease the crowd into the night, so it’s a full on assault from the off. Peter wastes little time in between songs, as the band plough through a few tunes from ’The Dead Eye’ with such force that I instantly make a mental note to go back and give the album another listen.
There’s very little talking in between songs; a couple of short breaks where Peter exchanges light-hearted banter with the crowd, but apart from that it’s song after face-melting song. They’re on fine form; maybe they feel they have a point to prove, but they’re preaching to the converted tonight and there are definitely no cynics in the pit.
We treated to a fantastic set as the band give us a bit of everything from their discography, from brand new tunes such as the fantastic ‘Moronic Colossus’ to vintage Haunted numbers in the form of D.O.A, In Vein, and the bludgeoning intro to their second album that is Dark Intentions and Bury Your Dead.
All too soon (or so it seems) there’s only time for one more, and all the Haunted fans in the audience know what’s about to hit them. After a lengthy story concerning its roots, we’re treated to a particularly scathing rendition of Hate Song, probably the most well known song in the band’s back catalogue and a Haunted classic.
A cracking set and a solid performance from The Haunted, who prove they can still hold their own ten years on. Performances like this are testament to why they are practically the dictionary definition of quality modern metal, straight up, and without compromise.
I get the feeling that a lot of the younger people here tonight (it’s a 14+ show) have turned up to watch co-headliners All That Remains, but after a performance like that, I’m sure The Haunted have made a fair few new fans. Long may they continue.
All Against All
Bury Your Dead