Haunter (USA-TX)
Discarnate Ails


3.8
excellent

Review

by Fernando Alves STAFF
May 14th, 2022 | 28 replies


Release Date: 05/06/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cliché aside, Discarnate Ails stands as the next logical step in Haunter's journey.

Starting off as a blackened screamo act, Texas-based quartet Haunter have been morphing into new forms with each release. Although early influences, notably Deathspell Omega, continued to emerge, the band have gradually shifted into more dissonant death metal grounds, closer to bands like Artificial Brain. A stylistic territory increasingly explored over the past decade. Death and black metal now intertwine in a set of mostly atonal harmonies, replacing the original punk(ish) signature with a hybrid roar more in sync with its time. 2019's Sacramental Death Qualia mirrored this progression while simultaneously unveiling the main path followed on Haunter's third studio album - Discarnate Ails.

By now, nearly ten years after their debut demo, the band has fully stabilized their formula, simplifying it, making it slightly more straightforward and linear. Like a well-oiled machine smoothly driving through safe, familiar routes. This is mainly due to a greater maturity and focus that amplifies and crystallizes the musical direction. Even the concept, which previously addressed esoteric and spiritual themes, now focuses on tangible experiences, simplifying the message. As the boys say, they just want to rock, and this is their way of doing it. Three songs, spanning a little over thirty minutes, certainly won't be the most mainstream entertainment, but they do represent in a very peculiar way the band's laid-back mood, which manifests itself in the more straightforward approach mentioned earlier.

The dialectic between black and death metal remains Haunter's backbone, being immediately apparent in the first few minutes of the opener, 'Overgrown with the Moss', which goes from a black metal section to a dissonant vortex in the blink of an eye, as if we’re witnessing a dance between The Ruins of Beverast and Artificial Brain in a rock-and-moss-strewn landscape. This interplay is constant throughout Discarnate Ails. As are the tempo variations that generate a dynamic yet linear flow, in a one-way stream where everything seems interconnected, despite the subtle contrasts. Paradoxically, this consistency unintentionally generates some monochromaticity that may tire some listeners, also undermining the album's replay value. Nevertheless, Discarnate Ails is not without its surprises, such as the short but tasty solo in 'Chained at the Helm of the Eschaton' or the lead guitar layer in the opener that lend some excitement to the mostly dissonant palette. The massive Deathspell Omega-ish main riff of the closing track or the dynamic vocal interplay that bursts through 'Spiritual Illness' are other highlights of the album, along with the collective's cohesive performance that always operates in close synergy. The crew is more focused and connected than ever, and that's amply palpable.

Cliché aside, Discarnate Ails stands as the next logical step in Haunter's journey. Not only is it the band's best release to date but also one of 2022's finest dissonances so far. And considering what's already been done and what's coming up next, looks like we're in for a treat, boys.




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user ratings (38)
3.8
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Better late than never, I guess.

Good stuff. Let's see if Artificial Brain or Hissing can do better.



Full stream:

http://hauntertx.bandcamp.com/album/discarnate-ails

http://youtu.be/p2GXW_Su33Y

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses

Pikazilla
May 14th 2022


22989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This was a first-day purchase for me on bandcamp.



If only it had a longer runtime...

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I could live with one more 7-minute song but the short length doesn't bother me, I even think it fits the band's style.

trilo
May 14th 2022


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

nice review sir



this shit slaps. some incredibly good riffage on here. songwriting could use some work here and there but the moment to moment rulez

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Disharmonium - Undreamable Abysses

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Thanks, trilo. Yeah, it has massive riffs. I particularly dig the main riff in the closing track.

trilo
May 14th 2022


4854 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

same that's my fav riff here, esp the way the riff evolves throughout the song



also really appreciate the variety in vox here

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Most definitely, it has a shape-shifting character.



The vocals rule, especially in Spiritual Illness. Great dynamics.

Pikazilla
May 14th 2022


22989 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

For whatever reason, I 2.5'd the previous album but remember nothing about it. Guess I'll give it another go and see if it clicks with me now.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I dig it. It has a darker vibe.

Out of curiosity, take a peek at the guys' first releases, you won't believe it's the same band.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


27982 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

Interesting! Amazing cover too.



Gonna add it to the list, and read the review when I jam it!

Digging: Ethel Cain - Preacher's Daughter

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 14th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

If you're into dissonant stuff you might like it.

Demon of the Fall
May 15th 2022


24591 Comments


Disappointing that you didn’t go with my suggested summary of ‘Gengar’!

Seriously though this is an evolution and a great album.

Digging: Gospel - The Loser

R4zor3dge
May 16th 2022


1422 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Solid review man.



I think the shortened the length works well here. All the songs have their moments and there are less lulls. All in all, this is a good follow up

Laen
May 16th 2022


741 Comments


Rips. Agreed the length on this album feels right. The last track is especially good.

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I'm not a man of culture, Demon, I like to keep things simple ;)

Thanks, R4zor3dge.

DDDeftoneDDD
May 16th 2022


20137 Comments


Not keeping up, but always trying

Digging: Famyne - II: The Ground Below

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


17108 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

I found this a lot less immediate than the last one. Transferability towards a better depth

TheNotrap
Staff Reviewer
May 16th 2022


17567 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

Interesting, it has a somewhat straightforward nature to me despite its intricate style. I know it sounds like a contradiction but that's the way I feel it.

pjquinones747
May 16th 2022


3465 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Damn, just checking this now and these guys rule.

Digging: Cave In - Heavy Pendulum

Demon of the Fall
May 16th 2022


24591 Comments


Yeah I found this to be very immediate, more so than the previous album



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