This new album by The Other came as a bit of surprise for me. I was thrilled no less thrilled when I saw the announcement online though. This band has been one of my favorite horrorpunk bands ever since I picked up their debut album They’re Alive somewhere back in 2004 or 2005. It has been a long and awesome ride ever since.
Haunted is their eight album already. Like most bands who have a career this long they have figured out who they are and what they want to sound like. The previous album, 2017’s Casket Case was perhaps a bit stuck in that groove to much. It sounded a bit tired and offered less quality than I have grown to expect from The Other. Since that album Aaron Thorn has returned to the band on bass guitar. Perhaps his return has given the band new energy; the band is back in their old shape. Haunted sounds as the perfect follow up for The Devils You Know and Fear Itself, which both score very high on my list of my favorite The Other albums. On Haunted the energy is back in the songs. The tired sound of the previous album is replaced by The Others old knack for writing extremely catchy tunes. There are no experiments or fillers on this album. Instead the sound is refined which culminated in thirteen hits.
What is that sound I love so much, you ask? Mix The Misfits (Famous Monsters era) with a bit of power metal and sometimes a bit of goth rock. This album, as the previous albums, has a few more goth rock tracks on which The 69 Eyes influences can be heard. What I dig most about this mix is the melancholy (for a better word) that I hear in a lot of tracks. When I say melancholy think “Saturday Night” or “Descending Angel” by The Misfits type of melancholy.
Perhaps the most important part of the The Other sound is singer Rod Usher. His voice is front and center in the mix of every album since day one. Compare his singing with the earlier albums he sounds a bit more natural and a bit less forced. He knows his limitations and stays within his comfort zone (which is good thing as far as I am concerned). He carries the songs and brings them to great heights. He feels most natural when he sings in his mother tongue, which he does twice on this album. Of course it helps that the German language is perfect for the dark tales this band tells.
Highlights on the album are “We’re All Dead” (my favorite track with it’s perfect mix of punk and power metal), “Fading Away” (the most goth track on the record, with a very The Cult-like sound) and "Creepy Crawling" (one of the more heavy songs of the bunch and with an incredibly catchy chorus).
I have listened to this album a lot ever since I received the pre-order and am enjoying it a lot. The band is not walking radically new paths, but I don’t think I want them to that. I want more records like this! Will The Other win over new fiends with this record? Probably not. Have they released an album of the year contender? Yes they did!
9.0 / 10
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