Album Review: Haunting – Sealed Shut

The story is seldom told, yet familiar, which is what makes it so good.

Haunting is an Atlanta, Georgia thrash/death metal band. They didn’t last long. In recording terms, they got down a few tracks, released them in 2014 on a cassette run. Then they evaporated into the sultry southern air.

The original recording of Sealed Shut was four tracks. The current definitive edition re-release adds a previously unreleased to the beginning, “Intro” which, for my taste is kind of a throwaway (and Boris records is adding an additional digital only release of the band’s last, October 2016 live performance). The real meat on this rotten recording is the four tracks, which opens with the absolutely blistering, “Beyond Death” and its full on assault of gut rattling percussion. The guitars are muddy and the vocals are buried, but the energy here is second to none. Overall, the best guitar work on Sealed Shut are on “In The Mist” and the speedy, thrash guitars that make up “Buried In Misery” which is easily the best track of the four originals. To report back that the  production is raw is an understatement. Much of what works (or doesn’t work) on the EP come down to how well the performance was captured. As it is, even the best are tough to digest, full of awkward fades and starts. Haunting weren’t much for song writing either, but the performances are pretty good and the energy, as mentioned before, is really spectacular.

Members of Haunting didn’t vanish. They moved onto other projects, big and small. What they left behind in Sealed Shut stands as their legacy. To some this may be another in a fetid sea of thrash/death projects, take it or leave it. For those in that burgeoning Atlanta scene though, this band and this record amount to something far bigger.

Purchase the album here.

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