“Burst Into Flames”

By Dr. Abner Mality

There’s quite a buzz about this SoCal trad metal act.  It’s a band featuring Trevor Church from doom metal curmudgeons Beastmaker, but sounds only a little like that act. Church happens to be the son of Montrose bassist Bill Church so the bloodline is there for sure.

If you’re a fan of early 80’s speed metal and the NWOBHM, Haunt will float your boat for sure. Tons of twin guitar harmony and highly melodic vocals. Church sounds pretty much the way he does with Beastmaker…he has a high, sweet sounding voice that could have come right out of the Britpop movement. I’m also reminded of Uncle Acid. “Burst Into Flames” fittingly starts red hot with the fast and furious title track. This is a great piece of archaic speed metal bliss. Unfortunately, it’s also the best song on the record. While there are other goodies on show, none equal the exquisite fury and pacing of this cut.

To tell the truth, Chicago band High Spirits has been doing this same style for ten years now and not gotten any of the accolades that have come to Haunt in just one year.  Tunes like “Crystal Ball” and “Wanderlust” are not as fast as the title track, but they are nice little bits of melodic metal songwriting. At times, the melodies are a bit too sugary for me, but its not a killer.