In 2019 we had a second album (‘If Icarus Could Fly’), an EP ‘(Mosaic Vision’), and a couple of split 7 inch releases (w/Seven Sisters and Fortress respectively). Haunt are on their game and the releases keep coming thick and fast. This is great.
With ‘Mind Freeze’ the trademark Haunt sound and vocals are present. The little additions occurring on a few of the tracks are a nice touch. This being keyboards, or rather synth sounds akin to 70’s sci-fi movies. The title track and ‘Saviors of Man’ are two tracks in particular where they are really upfront. The overall result is that the synth adds more atmospherics and takes away from “the usual” sound that the band produces. Thus, making the music evolve. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Haunt sound, but it was getting a touch same-old from time to time. With this refresh, well, no complaints here.
The artwork is much more in tune with my tastes on this release. There is a real vibrant but dark scene depicted, this will look amazing on vinyl.
There’s an absolutely ripping guitar solo on ‘Divide and Conquer’ which has a general speed increase and has a whole lot of energy with a really cool breakdown in sound prior to the aforementioned solo. Although I applauded the synths earlier, on headphones (I didn’t pick this up in the car) you can hear them in the background a touch more than what I would normally enjoy, that said, it works. ‘Hearts on Fire’ is a tirade of speed and metal, a little like Satan. The same is true with ‘Fight of Flight’ in terms of speed and the nice British metal influence. Oh yeah, the fretboard shred exists on this one too.
There’s a tour coming with Seven Sisters, there’s an appearance at Brofest also on the horizon. Haunt live should be seen. This album is an excellent sales pitch, however I would really recommend you take a listen to their back catalogue. Haunt are one of the most reliable and consistent bands of recent times crossing the big pond. Their heart is in it for all to hear, the song writing may be simple but the arrangements are well beyond their years in terms of quality, hey, another winner from Haunt.
(8.5/10 Paul Maddison)