Haunt (USA-CA)
Mind Freeze


4.0
excellent

Review

by PsychicChris USER (322 Reviews)
January 10th, 2020 | 16 replies


Release Date: 01/05/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The winter's kiss has made me blind

If there’s one thing that I respect about Haunt, it’s their ability to keep a near-literal constant stream of releases from getting too interchangeable. The group never strays too far from a classic metal core, but each effort comes with a distinct flavor. It’s something that just about every band goes through, but putting out multiple albums and EPs within months of each other allows listeners to witness this evolution in as close to real-time as one can get.

A heightened synth presence immediately sets Haunt’s third album, Mind Freeze, apart from its predecessors. They’re most prominent on the swelling introductions of songs like the opening “Light the Beacon,” but one can always detect them subtly wafting throughout. There’s not much technicality to the playing beyond held out patches and simple arpeggios, but their contrasts with the often-frantic guitar work makes the songs more dramatic and even emotional compared to past tracks.

From there, the other instruments build on the glam tinges that were developing on If Icarus Could Fly. The guitars remain at the center of attention, continuing to invoke those mid-80s Ozzy influences as a glossy tone builds a solid foundation for choppy shredding. The drums also sound heavier than ever before, thanks to a hefty boost in the mix and healthy helpings of reverb. Through it all, the vocals keep to the same mid-range wail with occasional layering.

And like Haunt’s other outings, there are plenty of strong gems on Mind Freeze. The title track is an early standout thanks to its smooth pacing, appropriately icy synths, and one of the album’s more encouraging choruses. “Saviours of Man” takes those glam elements even further with its bouncy tempo and scaled back guitar emphasis. The album also puts in some atmosphere courtesy of the tempo fluctuations on “Have No Fear.”

At the end of the day, it’s nice to see Haunt offer differing takes on their old school metal formula at such a fast rate without running on fumes. A longer runtime allows for more fleshed-out songwriting compared to If Icarus Could Fly, and the expanded band dynamic gives it a touch more power than 2018’s Burst into Flame. The band is still building up their momentum quite nicely, and the same will likely be said for the inevitable follow-up that’ll be out in six months or so.

Highlights:
“Mind Freeze”
“Saviours of Man”
“Have No Fear”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com



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user ratings (27)
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
January 10th 2020


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

did someone say "classic metal core"? Burst Into Flames was cool gonna jam this now \m/



https://hauntthenation.bandcamp.com/album/mind-freeze

Digging: Kvelgeyst - Alkahest

MotokoKusanagi
January 10th 2020


2429 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this rules

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Mid-80s Ozzy infl..." Stop right there, I'm in.

Digging: Postcards - The Good Soldier

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


17485 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's alright.

AffableMartyr
January 11th 2020


512 Comments


that snare though....

DungeonBoy
January 13th 2020


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really rattles the bones

Gmork89
January 13th 2020


8036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this.

Inveigh
January 14th 2020


26669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

god this rules hard. been following these guys (guy?) since the first EP and have loved all their stuff. Wanderlust is still the hardest jam, but this is the album I've been waiting for from them. I love the synth addition m/

Digging: Haunt (USA-CA) - Mind Freeze

DungeonBoy
January 14th 2020


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I dug the synth to my man, very cool project indeed

chilledpunkrock
January 14th 2020


43 Comments


There's a lot to like on here but something about the vocals really bothers me. They sound incredibly digital and hollow, and I can't tell if it's from a bad recording or processing on them.

DungeonBoy
January 14th 2020


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They are a tad dull for how energetic and big some of the music behind them is. If there's a contrast to over singing, I guess you could say they are a bit under sung throughout. They could definitely use a bit of pep to them considering how epic some of those maiden leads around them are. I don't mind them tbh, but I think they are the weakest link to this thing really packing a punch

Inveigh
January 15th 2020


26669 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah the vocals aren't very dynamic and can make the songs blend together at times (especially on the last record i thought), but they've grown on me and keep the sound from getting too cheesy

Essence
January 16th 2020


6332 Comments


some tasty tasty riffs on here

Gmork89
January 16th 2020


8036 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"If there's a contrast to over singing, I guess you could say they are a bit under sung throughout."



Totally agree with this.

TheNotrap
January 17th 2020


12754 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good jam, Saviors of Man rocks

Digging: Mystic Prophecy - Metal Division

DungeonBoy
January 17th 2020


7236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heck yeah dude, how cool is that synth though?



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