HAUNT keep whipping them out like it’s 1972! Back then it wasn’t unusual for bands to release 2 full lengths a year. It hasn’t been much more than six months since the last HAUNT album If Icarus Could Fly came out, and that doesn’t even include HAUNT main man Trevor Church’s other band, BEASTMAKER, (now sadly defunct due to HAUNT’s success) having their own album out. Sometimes this kind of quantity affects quality…is that the case here?

Mind Freeze is really what the new ANGELWITCH album, Angel Of Light, should have sounded like. It has that dark, musty production that the old NWOBHM bands thrived on; a lesson ANGELWITCH would do well to learn, since a flat, high-tech modern production really hurt their new album hard. Even Church’s plaintive wails are extremely similar to Kevin Heybourne’s. HAUNT hasn’t changed their style here too much, but one thing that is really noticeable is the addition of very primitive and spooky analog synth to some tracks. The synth sound is really dated but surprisingly that helps the atmosphere immensely on songs like the title track, ‘Have No Fear’ and ‘Voyager’.

HAUNT has always put out quality metal but have yet to do the true blowaway album they are capable of. More songs like ‘Hearts On Fire’ would go a long ways towards that end…this one is a ferocious speed metal tune with awesome guitar acrobatics and catchy vocals. ‘Fight Or Flight’ is a similar fast shredder but sounds just a bit too much like so many other speedy “true” metal songs. That feeling of over-familiarity always lingers here but never details the album as a whole.

If you like past HAUNT output, Mind Freeze is surely one to put on your metal shopping list. Still waiting for that monster album, though…maybe take a couple of extra months, next time?
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality

Mind Freeze
Shadow Kingdom
4 / 6