Album Review: Haunter – Discarnate Ails

Haunter’s members may reside in the South—Texas to be precise—but their new album Discarnate Ails is spawned from deeper South … much deeper. This monolithic full-length, which is comprised of only three epic tracks, is a dispiriting cacophony of dissonant black, death, and doom metal elements. It’s a perilous journey through cyclopean soundscapes.

“Overgrown With the Moss” commences the torment with a foreboding clean guitar intro that meets a dead-silent end; Then a startling black metal imperial whirlwind introduces the entire four-piece ensemble. Warbling tremolo riffs and upstroke guitar squawks by Bradley Tiffin and Enrique Bonilla litter this treacherous song’s terrain and the entire record.

Tiffin’s guttural growls, demonic trebly screams, and serpentine hiss rattle the soul. With an immense level of delay and reverb on his vocals, he emulates a menacing beast on a tirade in the bowels of a pit. In “Chained at the Helm of the Eschaton” you’ll catch him briefly chanting desolately over one of many abstract riffs; he and Bonilla frequently execute rapid mood-altering note progressions that render the listener emotionally disoriented.

Drummer Mark Cruz jackhammers blast and thrash beats brutally throughout the three chapters of Discarnate Ails while also indulging in progressive, technical patterns. His performance fervently accentuates the harrowing melodies and pummeling grooves, though his snare could sound less gated. It has impact for sure, but would’ve optimized its presence with more sustain.

The album concludes just as it begins: with elegant clean guitars delicately strumming a somber riff, closing out “Chained at the Helm of the Eschaton.” This time, however, it gives way to a rearguard of feedback, reminding us of the claustrophobic anguish we endured.  Releasing on May 6 via Profound Lore Records, this oppressive display will certainly position Haunter further amongst the formidable faction of dissonant death metal acts.

Buy the album here.

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