Taking live music fans about as close as can be this summer, The Haunted North offer up an energizing live rock set – four original tracks, brought to you straight from the stage; complete with raw energy, passion, and that subtle crowd sound to remind you of the better days.
As an introduction to the band, sometimes the live performance is the best way to go. In this case, the heavy guitar sound and the crash of the drums, meeting with this partly prog-rock vocal that meanders occasionally in to Dave Grohl-like territory, meets with notably impressive, engaging songwriting, to win you over on both counts.
Mojave Moon is the opener, a roaring track with brilliant contrast between effective melodies, instrumental weight, and emotional, personal lyricism. There’s even a false finish half way through, or rather – a sudden switch to an instrumental that begs for a head-banger mosh pit.
One Foot Stuck follows, bass-led with a quirky, intriguing vocal whisper and a direct questioning – Do you talk to your God? Stylish and seductive, a great way to start things up, and another clever contrast with what came before. The Haunted North keep things honest lyrically, and the passion and grit in their performances backs this up – a band unafraid to lay bare vulnerabilities in a bold, uninhibited way. Enter the power-chord back and forth, and we’re swept away on the full-throttle intensity and rhythm of the completed piece.
Next we get a song called Monster – a marching drum paves the way, quick guitar work and a strange meeting between melancholy and outright terror. Dark and mysterious, the track again showcases another side to the band’s writing. It’s melodic yet heavy, intimate yet raspy and loud, and that balance works well.
The final song on the live EP LiT is the unforgettable How Will You Die? Here come those prog-rock qualities, a touch of the simpler decades, a screaming soundtrack with lashings of style and intention. The vocal peaks and strains its way through these outpourings, before resolving with the simple repeat of that question; How will you die – on your feet, or on your knees?
Always a treat to listen to a live project during these times of isolation, better still something so raw and authentic on the hard-rock front. The Haunted North prove themselves to be a conceptually appealing, musically captivating band. Hopefully we get to check out the real thing some time soon.