The Haunted – The Haunted (1998)
Often labelled as Melodic Death Metal, The Haunted’s debut album may warrant such a comparison but at heart this Swedish collective – and particularly the opening track “Hate Song” – were Thrash at heart and the seeds for Thrash’s comeback in the preceding decade were resolutely sown on this debut release.
Barely taking a breather, The Haunted constructed an emphysematous modern Thrash sound that leapt out of the gates like a rabid dog; ushering in an era of Death/Thrash in the process that the likes of Testament would harness as the genre re-established it’s dominance in the new millennium.
We could debate whether this is Thrash until the cows come home but it’s position as an album that kept Thrash alive should not be argued. The Haunted’s insanely fast and aggressive songwriting took Thrash Metal’s blueprint and added a modern twist, technically fooling their audience into thinking they were hearing something new when the backbone of Thrash was so blatantly at the core of their sound.
Divisive this may be, but credit where credit’s due. Without The Haunted, Thrash’s comeback may not have been so seamlessly executed and for that we remain eternally grateful!