After Beastmaker assaulted the doom world with ten EPs in 2018, it doesn’t seem like this particular one would warrant much coverage as a separate release. However, Eye of the Storm sets itself apart thanks to a dramatically different style that seems more in line with guitarist/vocalist Trevor William Church’s ‘other’ band Haunt. But when one remembers that Church disbanded the group on the day of this EP’s release, its purpose becomes chillingly apparent: Beastmaker had to die so Haunt could live.
In contrast to the old school horror-doom normally seen with Beastmaker, Eye of the Storm sounds like slowed down Haunt. While the mood is more grandiose than either band, an icy tone sets the stage for more intricate guitar work as tempos somberly march and vocals are at their most Ozzy-leaning. There are times where it reminds me of something that Khemmis or Spirit Adrift would come up with, albeit with shorter runtimes and Church’s distinct sneer.
The songwriting is also more developed compared to the hashed-out nature of the 2018 EPs. The runtimes are within in a three to five-minute range but there’s a greater emphasis on mood and atmospheric shifts. Each track finds a way to stand out, as “Shadows” includes a creepy keyboard sequence toward the end while “My Only Wish” features one of the most definitive solos. I also can’t help but admire the confessional subtext in the title track’s reincarnation theme; I’m probably reading too much into it, but anything that makes a song even more compelling works for me.
While Eye of the Storm will likely be seen as a transitional footnote from Beastmaker to Haunt, it manages to be a solid heavy/doom metal EP in its own right. It can easily get lost in the shuffle of the band’s prolific insanity, but the style has its own distinct flavor that is enhanced by stirring performances. This isn’t the best thing that Mr. Church has put together, but it’s a very well thought out swansong. I can only imagine how much more impactful it could’ve been as a full-length album.
“Eye of The Storm”