Review: Haunt “If Icarus Could Fly” [Shadow Kingdom Records]

Review: Haunt “If Icarus Could Fly” [Shadow Kingdom Records]

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Haunt are a band that I only picked up midway through last year, and their album Burst Into Flame is what really captured my attention. They’re mostly known for a steadier and traditional brand of heavy metal, but I’ll be damned if the follow up doesn’t start on a more powerful note. If Icarus Could Fly is the title of their most recent effort, and it builds on the same heavy foundation while packing a slightly harder punch.

“Run And Hide” won’t be subtle with this in the slightest, as it introduces the ride with speed metal riffs and solos that shred through the night. If this isn’t already enough to prove a point, crunchier tones are added to the guitars, which induces slightly more threatening waves being added. Don’t head into this expecting a thrash attack, because it’s still a very steady and melodic release, staying clean in the vocal department. There’re just clearly some heavier innovations sneaking in.

The fabulous level of licks didn’t disappear. “Cosmic Kiss” packs every gap with guitar noodles that stick very well and lay atop the buzzing rhythms perfectly. The title track also brings on the same aesthetic but with higher fret-attacks, with a side of stomping grooves. One of the gripes I had with the previous effort is that the mix wasn’t distributed very well, and the vocals needed a bit more oomph. If Icarus Could Fly fixes both, and then some. The layers come through even better in “Ghosts” because of the harmonizing dual guitar work, and the drum beat here is off the charts.

“Ghosts” is my favorite track not only because of the layering, but the vocals hold so much emotion. The record contains a lot of pensive passages, some that feel rather sad, despite the harder effort put into the writing here. Of course, this can be used to invoke more positive emotions such as in “Clarion,” which injects the heavier doses to ride alongside perfectly. The bridges and solo here are easily the most threatening part of the album, as there’s an unsettling feeling of doom caked on.

Really, I don’t know how Haunt put out such a ridiculously swell effort in this short of time since the last album. Hell, there was even an EP dropped in the meantime known as Mosaic Vision. The level of momentum that this band has and their ability to work so many ideas into a one canvas absolutely amazes me. Managing to pour out so much in a short release that hardly touches thirty minutes is a talent in its own merits. If Icarus Could Fly is what you need in your life.

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