SYMPHONY OF SWEDEN – Haunted (2024) *HQ*

SYMPHONY OF SWEDEN - Haunted (2024) *HQ* - full

Since formed SYMPHONY OF SWEDEN have been consistently releasing a new album every year with their entertaining mix of pop and metal, short effective songs with epic choruses . The guys aren’t afraid to add electronics too, crashing with vintage synths. It’s a balance mix of the old with the new.
Made up of Linus “Lee” Wester and Pontus “Evan” Hagberg, this Swedish duo are actually creating a cross-over of songs, where heavy rock meets pop and cinematic orchestras meet electro, it’s grand and epic with huge arrangements, that are all delivered with attitude.
Their new CD ‘Haunted’ includes contributions from Henrik Bodin-Sköld, who is described as “Guitar Virtuoso & Arrangement Maestro”, along with Niklas “Bullen” Bengtsson who is the “Rhythmic Dynamo”.
On ”Haunted” there are 12-tracks with a combined running time of just under 36-minutes, interestingly none of the tracks are longer than 3 and half minutes, so it appears Symphony Of Sweden go for quality over quantity.

The album opens with the title track ‘Haunted’, its quick electronic based tempo has bounce. Linus’ voice impresses straight away, powerful, passionate and full of control. The sound is rich and would fill an arena. The track tempo rises and falls driven by the engine room of Niklas “Bullen” Bengtsson and the equally imposing keyboards of Pontus “Evan” Hagberg.
Next up is ‘EXIT – When There’s Nowhere Else To Run’. It’s slower and purposeful, with a driving beat and chugging riff. Lee’ s vocal is almost spoken, the band behind deliberate and full. The guitar break is of classic rock proportions. It’s a strong emotional piece.

As ‘Get Out Of My Mind’ begins, it’s obvious that Symphony Of Sweden have the ability to merge the pop and rock genres, this has a strong poppy beat, and the sound is focused around the chorus, that will have plenty of audience participation when played live. ‘Bad Thoughts’ has its feet very much in the Eurovison camp. The track is carried by Lee’s vocal which rides high above the Pet Shop Boys style melody.
The quick beats and gothic chorus opens ‘Even If Solo’. The band are let loose and are enjoying it, Lee is chanting the lyrics, Bullen is pounding the tubs, the backing vocal harmonies could have been lifted out of ‘The Omen’. It’s a flirt with symphonic rock, and they do it well.

‘Lay Them Down’ is a power ballad, featuring a delicate piano entwined with a steady beat, but once again Lee demonstrates his powerful and emotional vocals, the chorus builds and has a bit of a football chant to it, something that will have the fans joining in during a live show.
A driving riff start ‘Show Me Love’. The bass and guitar are having a minor duel behind the dynamic drumming of Bullen. There’s a sharp lead break from Henrik Bodin-Sköld, before he reverts to the powerful riff. Lee’s steady lyrics are playing the supporting role, it’s an interesting change of roles that works well.

‘Down And Counting’ incorporates a subtle nod of respect to the sound of fellow Swedes Europe, with the dramatic keys and guitar riffs. The quick beats ease the track away from the pop and towards the rock. The arrangement is well thought-out in its construction and performed superbly.
The next track is ‘Just Let It Bleed’, this is slower with Lee’s vocal at the forefront. The band’s swirling sound provides atmosphere, burbling bass and a steady drum-beat combine with refined keys, but the focus is Lee’s vocal.

‘That Night’ has a marching tempo, and is pure genuine radio friendly AOR. A defined and distinctive chorus that will get the heads nodding along. The guitar breaks and solo add snippets of classic rock.
The penultimate number ‘Black Painted Heart’, has an alternating quick/slow tempo, the drums of Niklas “Bullen” Bengtsson providing the lead, Lee’s vocal is matching stride for stride. Weaving neatly throughout the track are an eclectic mix of keyboard sounds.

The final track is the aptly named ‘Goodbye’. It starts with haunting strings, with big passionate lyrics delivered with consideration by Lee, Evan is caressing the piano keys. The sound builds, it has the effect of a full orchestra playing, a very effective way to close the album.

‘Haunted’ is an album full of magical and intriguing arrangements but easy to ears, the polished production is spot on. Symphony Of Sweden have once again blurred the lines between pop, hard rock, Eurovision epics, etc.
If you already own the previous two albums, you will not be disappointed by adding ‘Haunted’ to complete your Symphony Of Sweden trilogy. If you are new to the band, get ‘Haunted’ by this refrehsing album.
Highly Recommended


01 – Haunted
02 – EXIT – When There’s Nowhere Else To Run
03 – Get Out Of My Mind
04 – Bad Thoughts
05 – Even If Solo
06 – Lay Them Down (A broken son’s cry)
07 – Show Me Love
08 – Down And Counting
09 – Just Let It Bleed
10 – That Night
11 – Black Painted Heart
12 – Goodbye

Linus ”Lee” West – Vocals, Guitars
Evan Hagberg – Keyboards, Bass, Synths
Henrik Bodin-Sköld – Guitars
Niklas “Bullen” Bengtsson – Drums


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1 Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great album!

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