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Luminous Visions - 80%

Twisted_Psychology, January 21st, 2019

Trevor William Church’s prolificness is beginning to frighten me. In addition to the sophomore follow-up to 2018’s Burst into Flame set for release this spring, Haunt has released this EP consisting of songs that were recorded during the sessions for 2017’s Luminous Eyes. That’s not even going into the ten(!) EPs he released with Beastmaker in 2018 and their next full-length that’ll surely be out any day now…

Thankfully, Mosaic Vision’s outtake status has more to do with stylistic differences than inferior quality. The four songs here are certainly different than anything else Haunt has put out so far, boasting an even more melodic character. In addition to the soft bridge that comes through on the opening “Triumph,” the light performances and mid-tempo pacing on the title track put it on borderline ballad territory. Even a more driving track like the closing “Callouses” has a decidedly scaled-back tone.

Of course, there’s still plenty of room for the usual classic metal escapades. The guitar work on this EP is especially impressive, showing off a slew of bright leads that range from the flamboyant speed runs on “Triumph” to the held-out harmonies on “In Show of Flames.” The vocal delivery also does justice to the material, keeping to a nasally wail without exposing its limitations, and the drums show a fitting mix of speed and restraint.

Combining these songs with those on the Luminous Eyes EP would’ve made a pretty dynamic full-length, but Mosaic Vision has a distinct approach to the Haunt sound that allows it to stand on its own. It’s not as wild as Burst into Flame, but it offers the same mix of accessible hooks and traditional metal flavor. It’s more of a listen for already acquainted listeners but I can imagine the band going further down this direction on future releases.

Highlights:
“Mosaic Vision”
“Callouses”

Originally published at http://indymetalvault.com

Golden Phoenix Rising! - 88%

CHAIRTHROWER, January 20th, 2019
Written based on this version: 2019, Digital, Independent

Optimistic and content to echo astride aeonic winds while carving a blazing trail of stardust in its celestial wake, the Fresno, California based solo project turned quartet sensibly named Haunt has, swiftly so, spun around and fire-bombed the global traditionalist landscape with its secondary EP and third release overall, issued last month in triptych format (CD, vinyl and cassette under the mondo-reputable Shadow Kingdom Records) in anticipation of a wildly coveted sophomore proper titled If Icarus Could Fly - slated for release in May - if the horn-throwing messenger pigeons are correct.

For now, Mosaic Vision features the nascent Golden State trio in tip-top shape, that is, more confidant than ever before with an unexpectedly sped up - yet as far-out and harmonious - approach sure to grip in its talons past, present and future fans alike once they hear the flamboyantly trilled mini-solo kicking off "Triumph", and thus, for the duration of its wistfully liberating scatter-shot journey, courtesy of T.Hollman and "Wolfy" on bass and drums alongside cryogenic ax grinders J.W. Tucker and original founding member Trevor William Church, who vigorously launched his apocryphal sonic vision quest at the lowbrow behest of 2017's gritty albeit tight and melodious Luminous Eyes EP.

As with the latter, this juiced up and jiving affair comprises four effortlessly flowing and winsome mid-tempo energizers heavy on fuzzy, melodic soloing playing peak-a-boo with Church's nasally rendered, astral remote-viewing cheek liable to wrangle even the most ardent and, er, "pigeon-holing" heavy metal skeptic within and beyond Haunt's searing Corsair-meets-High Spirits ambiance while also managing respectful nods to highly underrated NWOBHM stalwarts such as Praying Mantis and Blade Runner, not to mention fellow kick-ass, grass roots and organic, as well as comprehensively shredding and contemporary, lone/dual wolves such as Ezra Brooks, Oath and Cloven Altar to name a compendious few. (Phew!)

Over and above said kinetically (c)ripp(l)ing flaming asteroid of a kick-off, opening lead passage, in addition to wickedly sequenced deceleration i.e. enchantingly clean or clear bridges akin to mid 1970s/Hero Hero era Judas Priest which yield increasingly zestful chops and newfangled parlor tricks (coincidentally, at 2:06-7 of both "Triumph" and its stellular [binary star] companion, "Mosaic Vision"), please acknowledge Haunt's by-now congenially acclaimed sidereal atmosphere and unctuously abrasive melody....as I resolutely point to the sky, Babe Ruth style, in glazing anticipation of future thunderstruck releases - i.e. bite-size EPs or celebrated full-lengths - on behalf of these sleek solar bound chrononauts!