Aside from being my new least favorite band name to Google, Haunt is a one-man project helmed by Beastmaker guitarist/vocalist Trevor William Church. While Beastmaker and Church’s past bands have always been more on the doom side, Haunt aims for a more old school metal direction. The results certainly hit the mark and Haunt’s debut EP makes for another solid entry into the modern traditional metal scene.
In a way similar to acts like Cauldron or Night Demon, Haunt’s take on classic metal is a blue collar balance between melody and grit likely inspired by Saxon and Angel Witch among others. In addition to modifying his vocal approach to a husky sneer, Church’s instrumentation is all around competent as the drums are steady, the bass is audible, and plenty of guitar harmonies are thrown in for extra authenticity. The production also has a nice lo-fi feel to it, aiding the early 80s atmosphere without undermining the performances or songwriting.
The songwriting is also put together well as each of the four songs includes upbeat tempos and distinct hooks. “As Fire Burns” may be the EP’s standout track, featuring the most memorable chorus as well as a slew of guitar melodies and gallops that would fit right in on any Di’Anno-era Iron Maiden album. The title track and the closing “Fallen Star” also get pretty hooky. There are moments where I wish the songs had more power behind them, particularly in the drumming and vocal departments, but the material’s inherent likeability makes it easy to overlook.
Ironflame may still be my go-to as far as one-man old school metal acts go, but Haunt’s debut EP is a respectable first step. You’ve heard everything that it is doing before but you’ll find plenty of earworms if you’re a fan of the style and I may actually prefer this to Church’s doom projects. A full-length album is rumored to be on the horizon and I imagine it’ll be even more satisfying.
“As Fire Burns”
Luminous Eyes is available from Haunt’s Bandcamp page .