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Album Review: Haunt – If Icarus Could Fly

Just as the Mosaic Visions EP predicted, Haunt’s second full-length adds some dazzle to their classic metal template. While 2018’s Burst into Flame was comparable to the early 80s antics of Priest and Maiden, If Icarus Could Fly seems to look further down that decade’s latter half. You won’t find any Turbo/Somewhere in Time-style synths or echo effects on here, but the glossy vocal layering in conjunction with the guitar’s sheen gives me a similar vibe.

Ozzy Osbourne’s albums with Jake E. Lee may actually be a better frame of reference as far as this album’s musicianship goes. The guitar patterns are executed in the same erratic choppiness that gave “Bark at the Moon” its spark while the vocals’ urgent moans are right in line with the Ozz. That said, the rhythm section’s hustle has more in common with power metal than their idols’ more radio-friendly tendencies.

But while Haunt’s songwriting method has always honed on basic catchy rockers, this album might’ve benefitted from a bit more variety. The songs revolve around mostly similar tempos, resulting in some interchangeability that is only made distinct by the sci-fi aesthetic on “Cosmic Kiss” or the title track’s mythological theme. Fortunately, it’s not too much of an issue as “It’s in My Hands” and “Ghosts” are worthy staples and the half hour total runtime ensures replay value.

In line with the album’s metaphor, If Icarus Could Fly is a good album that might’ve been greater if it had spread its wings out wider. The pristine style gives the album a unique edge compared to their peers and the performances support it well, but some more adventurous songwriting would’ve helped take it to the next level. Fans of Haunt’s other works will find this just as enjoyable and just about any classic metal listener can consider this a worthy half hour. I’m sure Church has the next five albums already written and recorded so we might as well enjoy the ride!

Highlights:
“It’s in My Hands”
“Ghosts”
“If Icarus Could Fly”

Editor Grade

B

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