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Review: Haunt Get Retro-Metal Right on ‘Burst Into Flame’

The band’s readymade anthems recall Eighties bands like Grim Reaper and Angel Witch

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In metal as in many other styles, retro reigns. Bands and labels are falling all over themselves to evoke the Heavy Metal Parking Lot golden age via studiously old-school production values and cover art that screams 1987, right down to the cheesy font choices. A lot of the results look the part but falter when you actually hit play. Haunt’s debut LP is a noteworthy exception for one simple reason: Impeccable old-school trappings aside, bandleader Trevor William Church – who also heads up the more Sabbath-indebted Beastmaker – writes great songs. His readymade anthems combine the ornate riffs, thundering rhythms and wailing vocals of cult Eighties bands like Grim Reaper and Angel Witch with the world-weary pathos of Thin Lizzy. (Clearly the guitarist-vocalist also took a few cues from his dad, Bill “The Electric” Church, who played bass for Montrose and Sammy Hagar back in the day.) Church isn’t simply mimicking the past; with Burst Into Flame, he’s bringing it back to life.

In This Article: Heavy Metal

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