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Haunter: Disincarnate Ails

Haunter are a 3 piece progressive death/black metal act from Austin, Texas. Their latest album, Discarnate Ails, was released last week via Profound Lore Records.

Haunter play a really strong brand of Progressive Death/Black metal. Discarnate Ails is only 3 tracks long, but with two 10+ minute epics and a total run time of over 30 minutes the release is more than long enough for my taste. Haunter have left nothing on the table with this album - the album is ridiculously strong, consistent and creative throughout. The closing track "Chained at the Helm of the Eschaton" was selected as the a video single, but any of the three tracks would have been appropriate. I don’t hear any weak moments on the release.

The album is creative and is certainly pushing the envelope of what extreme metal should be in 2022. At times it’s intricate, at others dissonant. It contains crushing death metal style moments and plenty of atmospheric black metal moments too. Despite the wide sonic palate and variability, the 3 tracks are very cohesive and work together particularly well. The musicianship is very strong throughout, but I never get the sense that any of the members of Haunter are playing their parts to flex their talents - the parts are always geared towards serving the songs and the atmosphere of the arrangements first and foremost.

I’ve tried to think of some bands to draw comparisons to for reference in this review but it’s difficult to do so due to the range of material on the one release. Blood Incantation came to mind, albeit Haunter don’t sound all that much like Blood Incantation (due to the addition of some black metal elements). However the comparison has a little merit because both bands employ a somewhat retro production aesthetic and employ non typical approaches to song writing and riffing. The other comparison that could be drawn at times is probably Enslaved, given the strong progressive black metal influence on the album. Some of the lead guitar work draws heavily on Mikael Åkerfeldt’s sort of lyrical approach, and I hear some early Opeth influence at times. Track 2, "Spiritual Illness" , wouldn’t sound out of place on the albums Still Life or My Arms Your Hearse.

It’s not often that I’ll play a new release and be blown away, but this was certainly the case with Discarnate Ails. Some may question whether the release is a full Album or an EP, but whatever the case Haunter have released one the most head turning releases of the year to date. Do not sleep on this If you’re a fan of progressive and creative extreme metal with an old school flavour.

Track Listing
1. Overgrown with the Moss
2. Spiritual Illness
3. Chained at the Helm of the Eschaton

Added: May 14th 2022
Reviewer: Chris Reid
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 585
Language: english

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