HAUNT – If Icarus Could Fly

HAUNT - If Icarus Could Fly
  • 6.5/10
    HAUNT - If Icarus Could Fly - 6.5/10


Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Release date: May 17, 2019

User Review
9/10 (1 vote)

Some may complain that finding a genuine old school Heavy Metal band can be a bit of a challenge these days. Well, seriously? There still are some gems out there – all that is needed is to know where to seek. This time it’s about a Heavy Metal group from Fresno, California. It’s called Haunt and it’s the solo project by William Trevor Church, who’s also a part of a Doom Metal group called Beastmaker. Considering how many albums have been released by both bands within just a couple of years, Church may be on its way to become someone like Chuck Shuldiner of classic Heavy Metal. Now it’s time to check the most recent record by Haunt – it’s called If Icarus Could Fly and most likely is what fans of the finest Heavy Metal are waiting for.

Seeing how many Metal artists these days like to release long albums that can be enjoyed almost exclusively by those who see themselves as their fans already, If Icarus Could Fly will not have anyone bored. With eight compositions that barely exceed half an hour this album is packed with dynamic riffs, melodic solos and harmonies, overall, really high quality songwriting.

The songs may sound a bit alike, but not to an extent they can’t be told from one another. There are similarities in the overall sounding, but they’re nowhere near enough to make one think that one song is a copy of the previous one. If Icarus Could Fly starts with 15 seconds of a classic Rock intro just to evolve into high energy Metal. Where heaviness meets dynamics and melody and where the music has so much soul. Many bands aim for the absolutely immaculate production and overall tightness these days. They probably don’t even realize the prize they pay for that – the authenticity of their music, assuming there was any in the first place, goes down the drain. And that’s what matters to Rock and Metal fans, not the most expensive production that makes the live performances not really impressive compared to the studio albums. What If Icarus Could Fly has to offer is the 1980s sound (Dio, Scorpions) with a pinch of more modern Metal music (Iced Earth) and just pure spirit of music, one of the things so many modern artists seem to be lacking on purpose.
As much as melody is one of the things that make music amazing, If Icarus Could Fly could probably do with a bit less of the lead parts. The music should not be about trying to chuck as many notes as possible into one bar trying to make it sound extremely technical. That concerns for instance the fifth song titled “Clarion” – the verses could have sounded better without the multitude of lead fills, although the solos, especially the second one, are absolute world class. It’s hard to find a song that truly stands out, although “Winds of Destiny” with its Megadeth-like intro solo and “Cosmic Kiss” are some of the finest.

One thing that might be a reason to worry is whether William Trevor Church won’t feel like forming yet another band – because being busy with three acts would make regular gigging barely possible and intensive interaction with the audience is as crucial as having quality music in one’s repertoire. Hopefully Haunt will make it overseas soon. All big Metal festivals in Europe, including the famous Wacken, always have some really mediocre bands on the bill. Bands that most people would ask themselves, how did they make it there? Haunt would be a perfect replacement for those bands – their music is good enough to be played in front of thousands. All they need is exposure. The world is their oyster.


  • Miłosz Mikołaj Nizioł

    Miłosz is a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. He was born somewhere in Europe and now lives elsewhere in Europe. Miłosz is a writer and it has always been his passion. Aside from that, Miłosz is also a bass player - back in his UK days he played in various bands, some of which made it to have their place in the history of Metal; this includes an English high speed Thrash Metal act Rager that got mentioned in Contract in Blood: A History Of UK Thrash Metal (Glasper, I., 2018).   When enjoying live music as a member of the audience, Milosz never says no to circle pits and a good wall of death. Besides Metal, Milosz has a very wide range of interests that don't need to be specified here since they're not about Metal. One of them can be, actually: Milosz LOVES coming up with parodies of various songs lyrics.   Milosz's Top 25 bands (in the following order) are: The Beatles Deep Purple & Black Sabbath Queen ]v[ E G A D E T ]-[ (until 24.05.2021, but still) Judas Priest Iron Maiden (first three albums mostly) Twisted Sister Mötley Crüe KISS (preferably with Ace and Peter) Exodus Overkill Pantera Rainbow (and DIO of course) Savatage Running Wild Testament Pink Floyd ABBA Red Hot Chili Peppers Death Dire Straits Alestorm Motörhead

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