Haunt (USA-CA)
Mind Freeze


4.0
excellent

Review

by PsychicChris USER (345 Reviews)
January 10th, 2020 | 24 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 (52)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DungeonBoy
January 10th 2020


7873 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

MotokoKusanagi
January 10th 2020


3226 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this rules

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


20559 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

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

Digging: Jaga Jazzist - Pyramid

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 11th 2020


20559 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's alright.

AffableMartyr
January 11th 2020


527 Comments


that snare though....

DungeonBoy
January 13th 2020


7873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

really rattles the bones

Gmork89
January 13th 2020


8087 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I like this.

Inveigh
January 14th 2020


26786 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/

DungeonBoy
January 14th 2020


7873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

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

chilledpunkrock
January 14th 2020


64 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


7873 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


26786 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


6384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

some tasty tasty riffs on here

Gmork89
January 16th 2020


8087 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
Contributing Reviewer
January 17th 2020


14595 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good jam, Saviors of Man rocks

Digging: Black Crown Initiate - Violent Portraits of Doomed Escape

DungeonBoy
January 17th 2020


7873 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Heck yeah dude, how cool is that synth though?

MaidenFan539
January 21st 2020


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I’ve just been searching for some other reviews on this great album and the first 4 I came across are an exact copy and paste of this review. Not sure if it’s the same person just spreading the love or if loads of people are just copying the same review and passing it off as there own?



Anyway, good review to a great album.

Essence
January 21st 2020


6384 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

album has juicy leads and riffs but the singing is just the exact same note every single song

PsychicChris
January 23rd 2020


346 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I mainly write for Indy Metal Vault but repost to a couple different sites. Sorry about the confusion there.

MaidenFan539
January 27th 2020


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think the music is great but the vocals are so poor. It’s starting to really bug me now and not sure if this band will hold my attention for the future. Don’t think I’ll be in a rush to check out future releases unless I hear they’ve brought in a proper vocalist.



The guy who formed this band is a great guitar player and theirs some excellent riffs and solos on this album but someone needs to tell him he can’t sing for shit. Very monotone and and no power in his voice. The style of music this band plays is just begging for a powerful dio esq singer with range and melody in their voice.



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