Title: If Icarus Could Fly
Label: Shadow Kingdom Records
Release Date: 15 March 2019
Format Reviewed: High Quality Digital Promo
I waited patiently some time to pass after this album was released in order to make this review. For couple of reasons. First of all “Burst into flame” grew so tremendously with me over the time after some time. (although I got into it pretty fast). It was at #4 in my 2018 AOTY list. (you can read my review here). Second, “If Icarus Could Fly” is released so soon after “Burst”. And mind you, there was the EP “Mosaic” out in January. Seems that Trevor and the boys have been inspired and busy in the studio. Now I really needed to somehow live with this present album after the euphoria I had with the previous. In the meantime so many questions were wandering in my mind – will it be that good; how will I accept it; isn’t it similar to Load and Re-load case?
I’m doing this review almost a month after the digital release of “Icarus” (and a month ahead of all physical; WTF is this label approach?!), and I must admit that I have been right to have worries. My first impressions were that “Icarus” is definitely not as good as “Burst”. Despite of being in the absolutely same alley, and album-twin. I felt that the songs in the 2019 were just left outs from “Burst”. After a month of intensive listening and dissecting, the album grew partly in my but it sounds tired to be honest. Yes, it is melodic, it is the catchy heavy metal which the band plays so good, but it not that remarkable, not memorable, not wearing that exclusive 80s feeling. “If Icarus Could Fly” is actually short. With total running time of 30 minutes, I thought that those eight songs last much longer. This only proves my case…
The album begins promising with the fast-paced “Run and Hide” and actually continues well with “It’s in my hands”, but somewhere there the wear out begins to crawl in. “Cosmic Keys” really tried to convince me that I was wrong, however my mind was returning all over again to “Burst into flame” anthems, so again another point down here. Absolutely the same feeling I had about “Ghost”, “Clarion” and “Winds of Destiny” – just not exciting as the band can deliver, despite of the easy sing-alongs and nice riffs. And I know, HAUNT can deliver so much more. The title-track is good though, with great solo. The closing “Defender” begins promising, but it drowns after.
Now few thoughts. Is it because of simplicity or the tracks were really left outs and the band was in a hurry to release them? For me the album lacks of energy and that emotional power which I expected. Yeah, my high expectations let me down. All the tracks contain memorable sing alongs, nice melody, but in general the songs can’t be remembered with that flame bursting the heart of the listener. Maybe I have been too negative? Oh well, but maybe I love too much what the band is doing and I really want to see them crushing and breaking with real energy. HAUNT can do so much more. 6.5/10 Count Vlad