Although they had a quick three year run and only cranked out one cassette demo in 2014 before jumping off into bigger projects Atlanta, Georgia old school death metal project Haunting left behind a noteworthy demo for fans of the style. Formed between then current members of thrash maniacs Sadistic Ritual, Autopsy-esque band Living Decay, and hardcore punk band Paradox, Haunting‘s intentions appear to have aimed for late 80’s death/thrash style with the same intense focus on riffs found in their other projects. You should immediately get a mix of Dark Angel, early Death, and some punkish Swedish kicks a la Repugnant. Guitarists Scott Taysom (Paradox, Cloak) and Charlie Southern (Sadistic Ritual, Ectovoid) attack this thing head on with great intensity and some obvious nods to Slayer, ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and Insanity throughout. ‘Sealed Shut’ reeks of great taste in death and thrash metal guitar work that is similarly echoed in their other projects before and after Haunting.
With this vinyl/digital release coming out four years later the bonus beyond the original cassette version comes in the form of what was apparently the band’s final show in 2016. The live sound is listenable and a nice extra to chew on outside of the main event. It would have been great to see what Haunting came up with after this, considering the chemistry shared by the two guitarists and I think Taysom‘s voice was really fitting for death/thrash. I suppose I am enamored enough with the output from Sadistic Ritual and Cloak since, but ‘Sealed Shut’ was a promising teaser for the project. If you love death metal demos as much as I do this is a sure thing. Clear sound and old thrashing death metal style throughout should be enough to warrant a few spins.
Craving blood in the red moonlight. 3.25/5.0
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