I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how bands like The Haunted manage to survive long enough to make nine albums. That’s not an insult by the way. It’s fucking hard to make nine albums as any kind of band, let alone a band that makes heavy music. It helps that The Haunted have a distinct style that’s flexible enough to allow for them lean into melody or aggression as the mood strikes them.

On “Brute Force”, the lead single from their upcoming record Strength In Numbers they are leaning into aggression like Michael Jackson hitting the “Smooth Criminal” choreography. The song is a continuation of the band’s narrowed focus following the lineup shifts on 2014’s Exit Wounds that brought back singer Marco Aro and drummer Adrien Erlandsson, along with guitarist Ol Englund. This new lineup, in addition to upping the punching power after 2011’s noodle armed Unseen, has brought back the key ingredient to The Haunted’s continued success; clarity of intention.

When you listen to a song by The Haunted, you don’t have to guess what part of the song matters the most. They let you know. It’s crystal clear which section is the chorus, which is the verse, and when they are going to open the form up for solos. Part of this comes from Aro’s rare and sneaky difficult ability to not lose diction when doing harsh vocals, but that’s just the icing on the cake of Englund’s songwriting. Not only do you know what’s happening at all times, but The Haunted know that you know. This gives them the room to doodle in the margins without ever diverting attention away from the essential message.

That only becomes clearer when watching Englund rip through “Brute Force” on guitar, which you can do below in an exclusive playthrough. Watch how he’s able to slip in neat little frills that would go totally unnoticed in the final product. Or how he brings back nuggets of the main riff into the more rhythm oriented bridge. Don’t let the name fool you, “Brute Force” is immediate, but it ain’t dumb.


Here’s what Englund has to say about the song:
"I think Brute Force was a very important song for Strength in Numbers, it was one of the earliest songs we made for the album and it made the rest of the material writing a lot easier. With Adrian's crushing drums and Marco's vocals, everything falls perfectly into place. ”

Pre-order Strength In Numbers here.

More From Invisible Oranges