the haunted hysteria


Australia is about to experience an onslaught of Swedish extreme metal as The Haunted prepare to ignite stages across the east coast at the end of this month alongside their esteemed countrymen At The Gates and Witchery. The Haunted’s vocalist Marco Aro is certain it’ll be a tour to remember.

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The Haunted last stormed our shores in 2015, shortly after the release of 2014’s Exit Wounds, the album that marked Aro’s return to the band. On what prompted his decision to re-join The Haunted after over ten years, Aro candidly explains, “Yeah … when I quit the band I had so many issues and stuff to take care of and decided I was done with the music industry in general, and then I started after two or three years, started missing it a bit, so I started up various bands together with other people and then you start missing the whole thing, missing your best friends, because we kept in contact throughout the whole time but never really discussed any kind of a reunion thing because I was doing my own stuff and they were doing their stuff. But then Jensen [Patrick Jensen, guitarist] called when Peter [Dolving, former vocalist] and Per [Möller Jensen, former drummer] left the band and they pretty much decided that we can’t let this die, and so let’s give it another try, and so they called me up and asked me if I wanted to join back. I just had to have a few days to discuss it with my wife, and once she was on board, I was on board.”

This time, The Haunted arrives in the wake of Strength In Numbers, released in 2017, which continued their return to a full intensity sound with Aro back on vocals. Aro knows that these relentless new songs go down well with their live audiences, but notes that there are still challenges. “We have gone back to the more aggressive type of music again,” he states, “but we try to get in everything from each album so everybody gets theirs, so its actually kind of fun and a bit challenging as well, I’ve been doing Peter’s stuff before so its not hard but it’s the challenge to win over people who are like super critical, like ‘is he going to be able to pull of Pete’s vocals …’ so its challenging to every night prove them wrong [laughs] … We will put on a really good show.”

… we mainly write songs because we are bored of the old ones … so we don’t know, it might be an aggressive album, but it might be a very melodic album …
[ Marco Aro ]

The Haunted did take a bit of an excursion from their early 2000’s approach, during the ten years from Aro’s departure in 2003 until he returned to the band in 2013. It must have been a tough decision on how to embrace the band’s new direction while still invoking their more aggressive inclination … “Yeah, we were thinking when I re-joined the band, we were thinking … ‘should we pick up where they left off or should we do something else?’ But then Ola [Englund, guitarist] wrote one song called Kill The Light and he wrote that song out of a pure fan’s perspective, and we really enjoyed that song so we decided, yeah let’s keep this momentum going, and we got back to were The Haunted left off in 2003.”

It’s been a little while since Strength in Numbers, so on the topic of the possibility of whether there is a forthcoming album, Aro suggestively offers, “Yeah we have, we were actually talking about it and loosely talking about it but there’s definitely something in the making, yeah.”

Exciting … can we expect more of The Haunted’s re-found aggressive style? “Hopefully yeah,” Aro laughs, then adds, “but also it’s the thing with this band, we never really wanted to stay in one place, we always wanted to do something, because when we write songs we mainly write songs because we are bored of the old ones … so we don’t know, it might be an aggressive album, but it might be a very melodic album, we don’t know yet, that’s because we don’t set out with a written tour map, its just what we’re feeling, its just everybody contributes and then we start picking and choosing.”

So, it is not long now before The Haunted level Australian stages. On what we can expect from their highly anticipated set, Aro simply states:

“Just … brace yourselves, because it’s going to be intense.”

Triple Bill Tour featuring At The Gates, The Haunted & Witchery dates:

CANBERRA // Wednesday 24 April  // The Basement
BRISBANE // Thursday 25 April // The Triffid
SYDNEY // Friday 26 April // Manning Bar
MELBOURNE // Saturday 27 April // Max Watts
HOBART //Sunday 27 April // Odeon Theatre *At The Gates Only

Tickets available here.

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