Wednesday 15 January 2020

Reviews: Haunt, Envy, Weight Bearer, Ryte (Reviews By Matt, Rich & Liam)

Haunt: Mind Freeze (Shadow Kingdom Records) [Matt Bladen]

We've written about Trevor William Church a few times on this blog as he is the leader of both stoner riff machine Beastmaker and trad metal troop Haunt, his vocals and guitar adapt themselves to either genre well and as he's also a prolific writer both bands have an extensive back catalogue releasing material every year. This is Haunt's third album in three years and once again it's steeped in the classic NWOBHM sound of those 80's heroes such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Angel Witch and Tokyo Blade. High top sneakers and bullet belts are the order of the day as are lyrics influenced by horror and fantasy as Church is aided and abetted by the boiler room of Taylor Hollman (bass) and Daniel Wilson (drums) along with his Beastmaker cohort John Tucker who plays lead guitar here but is Beastmaker's bassist.

Now I'm a sucker for traditional heavy metal sound and while a have not been a fan of many of the NWOBHM also-rans who have returned after 20 odd year hiatuses to play again the new wave of bands such as Cauldron, Night Demon and Haunt grab my attention by having that vitality that made the genre so exciting in the first place. A bubbling Vangelis synth begins Light The Beacon and we open with a fist in the air mid-paced rocker before Hearts On Fire brings some speed metal romping. What I like about Haunt's records is that they are quite musically dense, they sound retro but not to their detriment, the production is crisp meaning you can hear the crisp guitar tone on the title track, the buzzing synth on Saviours Of Man or Have No Fear and every single note of the twin guitar harmonies that fill Fight Or Flight. Haunt remain the high water mark for trad metal and they are still deep in a purple patch. 8/10

Envy: The Fallen Crimson (Pelagic Records) [Liam True]

Despite being labelled as a ‘Screamo’ band, the Japanese sextet couldn’t be further away. More along the lines of Post-Hardcore but packed with enough of an old school Punk sound that they keep it fresh on their 7th studio album. Being their first output in 5 years they’ve been working hard on it. And it shows. From start to finish it’s a brutal onslaught of vicious riffs and throat-melting vocals. There’s not a single moment where the band allow you to breathe and take it what’s being shown on the record with their musicianship and song writing. Despite being sung completely in Japanese, there’s still a few times where you’ll find yourself either humming the tune or singing along. The only downside i have to the album is the production. The vocals are, on times, barely audible, the guitars sound distorted beyond belief and it sounds a bit of a mess. But underneath that you’ll find a fantastic album full of surprises. 6/10

Weight Bearer: Watch The Collapse (Self Released) [Rich Oliver]

Watch The Collapse is the debut album by UK band Weight Bearer. Describing themselves as a mixture of metallic and progressive influences into a dynamic and uncompromising sound I was left wondering where the dynamics were in this album as it was uncompromisingly dull and generic. The progressive touches on Watch The Collapse amount to a few atmospheric and melodic moments here and there but the rest of the album is from the school of dull and generic metalcore with not a single riff having any staying power and each song having little to no memorable moments. 

 The vocals are the usual hardcore inspired bark every insipid core band uses and Weight Bearer have two vocalists both doing a similar style and both of them having nothing about them that stands out whatsoever. It’s safe to say I was not a fan of Weight Bearer and found Watch The Collapse a dreadfully dull and depressing listen. Metal is supposed to be passionate and exciting but those two elements were severely lacking in this release. The guys in Weight Bearer can play well so it’s just a shame that what they play is so painfully generic. 2/10

Ryte: Ryte (Heavy Psych Sounds) [Matt Bladen]

Formed by Hannes Ganeider (drums), Arik (guitar/vocals), Shardik (guitar) in Vienna they searched for a bass player and they found Lukas Götzenberger (vocals/bass). Now you can see that two members supply vocals however you don't actually get any vocals until way into the total run time of the record, prefering to keep their heavy psych rock mostly instrumental that shifts between doom and prog with some World Music on Shaking Pyramid in the drummign mainly as the vocals and doom rock feedback comes in at the end. At four tracks in length, you get quite a large chunk of music as the songs are quite long, as they are mainly instrumental they suit an evening with your favourite relaxant and just soak it in. 6/10

No comments:

Post a Comment