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Haunt – Mind Freeze Award winner

Haunt
Mind Freeze
by Dave Nowels at 22 January 2020, 4:06 PM

HAUNT have been busy. Fresh on the heels of 2019's “If Icarus Could Fly” (as well as 2018's “Burst Into Flames” and their debut 2017 EP,  “Luminous Eyes” ) continue their buzzsaw of productivity into 2020 with “Mind Freeze”. The album just dropped January 10th on Shadow Kingdom Records and it's had monster hype in many of the usual circles, including garnering a cover feature in Decibel Magazine's February 2020 issue. Spoiler alert; all the hype is warranted, well deserved and 100% spot on.

Among my generation of “boomers”, there's a saying, “Everything old becomes new again”. It's absolutely true whether it's referencing fads, fashion, movies or more importantly, music. Sure, there's likely a thousand different bands out there hoping to reinterpret one Iommi riff enough to seem original, or make things trippy enough to reap the Psych nostalgia, So on, and so on. Make no mistake, that's all fine and good really. But the fact remains that only a handful of those bands actually capitalize on their efforts, with most fading into obscurity or into far more comfortable (and profitable) projects. When it comes to Traditional Power/Classic Metal these days, there's only a select few that are really impacting the scene. ANCIENT EMPIRE did it last year, with “Wings Of The Fallen”, and now in 2020, HAUNT have reset the high mark point with “Mind Freeze”.

Not just content to anchor a new summit for Power Metal, HAUNT have actually managed to blaze a whole new trail in their lofty heights. There's an air of 'epicness' surrounding “Mind Freeze”. Considering their productivity thus far, one has to think HAUNT are not a band to rest on their laurels or mire themselves in complacency. “Mind Freeze” is a collection of songs that are the result of musicians pushing themselves and one another to keep growing and maturing all while having fun. “Light The Beacon” opens the 9 track, 38 minute release with considerable confidence and swagger.

Over the remaining 8 tracks the band maintains a balls to the wall pace of thundering rhythms, driven riffs, melodic hooks, clever lyrics and stellar music composition. Highlights were, “Divide and Conquer”, “Have No Fear”, “Fight Or Flight”, and the title track, “Mind Freeze”. This is Heavy Metal glory. There's an authenticity among these four men that comes easily. This is genuine 80's era Heavy Metal at it's finest. In 2020 no less. But, it doesn't stop there. It could, and the album would easily stand on it's own merit, but “Mind Freeze” also has the feel of only being the beginning of what HAUNT have to offer to the future of Metal. “Light The Beacon” indeed. HAUNT have lit their own spotlight towards the future, and it's not one that feels like burning out anytime soon.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Light The Beacon
2. Hearts On Fire
3. Mind Freeze
4. Divide And Conquer
5. Saviours Of Man
6. Fight Or Flight
7. Have No Fear
8. On The Stage
9. Voyager 
Lineup:
Trevor William Church - Vocals, Guitar
John Tucker - Backing Vocals, Guitar
Taylor Hollman - Bass
Daniel 'Wolfie' Wilson – Drums
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
     


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