Monday, 7 June 2010

The Haunted - Hatfield Attic - Tuesday 1st June 2010

The Haunted are on tour with Slayer at the moment. However, being the hard working metal musicians that they are this doesn't stop them from playing headline shows on the nights off they are getting from Slayer duty on their jaunt around the UK. Tonight sees the band play at the Attic in Hatfield, a small bar that's part of the Hertfordshire University complex. The venue only holds around 250 people at the best of times but only somewhere in the region of 40-50 bother to turn up for this gig. This highlights a few things. Firstly that there is a distinct lack of a metal scene in Hertfordshire, as illustrated by the fact that there is no support act. Secondly, people don't seem to know where Hatfield is; I find it hard to believe that there are this few dedicated Haunted fans in London prepared to make the half hour train journey to get to this show. Thirdly, The Haunted are professionals. It would be so easy for them to turn up, see the minute crowd and think "fuck it, let's just take it easy and get some rehearsal time for the Slayer shows in London". This is precisely the opposite of what happens. From the moment the Swedish thrashters burst onto the stage they rip into one burst of barely contained musical fury after the next. Peter Dolving screams as if his life depends on it and the Bjorler brothers rip away at their guitars. This is one tight live act and also one with a good sense of humour. Dolving welcomes the audience to "the Hatfield metal lounge" (referencing the fact that the venue looks more like an up-market cocktail joint than a metal club) and comments good naturedly on the size of the crowd, getting rather amused when me and two others are the only ones to respond to "How many of you guys are actually from Hatfield?" with an answer in the affirmative! Indeed Dolving can't half talk! This is a good thing though, his observations on UK bars having carpets are particularly interesting. The relaxed atmosphere of the show allows for the crowd to get up close to the band, even enabling someone as crap at photography as me to take a few decent snaps. The likes of "99" and "No Compromise" get heads banging although there is nothing close to a moshpit simply because there aren't enough people! Having ripped through around two thirds of the set Dolving takes advantage of a break to ask "Anyone here know how to play any Haunted songs?" This sees one lucky guy strap on Patrik Jensen's guitar whilst Harley Anderson (of London metallers Internal Conflict) replaces Dolving on vocals for a run through of "Hollow Ground". The band then proceed to romp their way through a few more songs before ending with a climatic "Bury Your Dead", complete with us fans allowed up on to the stage. I may not be the biggest of Haunted fans but I know a top live show when I see one and this, despite the disadvantages, is right out of the top draw. They're top guys as well!

The Haunted - 9/10

The Haunted setlist:
Moronic Colossus
The Drowning
The Premonition
The Flood
The Medication
All Against All
Prevation Of Faith Inc.
Shadow World
Guilt Trip
No Compromise
Hollow Ground
Iron Mask
Dark Intentions
Bury Your Dead

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