Haunt (U.S.) – Luminous Eyes (Shadow Kingdom)

Wednesday, 3rd January 2018
Rating: 7.5/10

Already ensconced as vocalist/guitarist of up-and-coming doomsters Beastmaker, Trevor William Church also has the musical heritage to draw from. His dad, Bill Church, manned the bass for ’70s rockers Montrose. While this isn’t always a sure-fire recipe for success, one has to figure that between Beastmaker and Montrose’s past glory, Church would have to good sense to pull together a project worthy of his family’s legacy, which Haunt is. Appropriately playing a proto-on-NWOBHM blend, Church churns out four throwback cuts on Luminous Eyes.

All of the classic, er, typical NWOBHM hallmarks are here, from pointy twin guitar harmonies, punchy riffs and a 4/4, prowling setting. Mandatory these elements are, so Church and his easy, but non-imposing vocals (it’s like a sing-shout), team up with said harmonies and gallops to effect on the opening title track and in particular, “No Master,” which finds Church kicking in a good, old-fashioned round of Maiden-meets-Angel Witch guitar duels while a solo works its way in and out. He goes one step further on “Fallen Star,” where harmonies are en max.

Pretty much the exact type of release you’d expect from the respected Shadow Kingdom, Haunt (the “U.S.” is no doubt used to clear up any confusion to the other half-dozen Haunts out there) offer up nothing new, but everything that is holy and true about classic metal. The past is still very much alive on Luminous Eyes.