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Haunt: Unplugged Vol 1

Haunt are one of the newer US metal bands channelling the spirit of NWOBHM that have popped up over last half-decade or so. In reality more of a solo project (of one Trevor William Church) than a band in the true sense, Haunt have certainly been prolific since emergence in 2017, with five LPs plus numerous e.p.s pumped out already. Unplugged Vol 1 is Church’s ‘lockdown’ album (or one of them at least) and, per the promo blurb, sees him ‘taking inspiration’ from the MTV ‘unplugged’ albums that became something of a craze in the early 90’s. I have to be honest and say that wasn’t something that filled me with confidence ahead of listening to this, as I found most of those unplugged albums pretty pointless - why do we need acoustic versions of songs that were obviously meant to be heard in a different format? The same, sadly, is true here - Church can clearly write and carry a tune (although his ‘non-metal’ voice tends towards the whiny at times), but in this format the songs (all versions of tracks found on Haunt’s previous albums) sound quite pedestrian and blend in to one another. Arrangements for each are similar (some strings and female backing vocals along with classical guitar flourishes) which doesn’t help make a varied listen. Listened to individually, some songs do work better than others (the opening “Beautiful Distraction”, “Reflectors”) but overall, even at only 35 minutes this does start to drag a little.

So as not to end on a downbeat note, I would say that what I’ve heard of Haunt’s ‘plugged’ albums sound much more promising and fans of classic metal may want to try those out.

01. Beautiful Distraction
02. In Our Dreams
03. Have No Fear
04. Luminous Eyes
05. Light The Beacon
06. On The Stage
07. Reflectors
08. Cosmic Kiss

Added: December 23rd 2021
Reviewer: Tom De Val
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 652
Language: english

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