I find that usually when I get into a "cult" band like Halo (i.e. a band that hasn't broken into the mainstream), that I'm very excited about them for a month or so but then the interest mostly wears off. The first time I heard Halo was the set that they performed at V2001, a good three years ago now -- I remember hearing those harmonic vocals and haunting melodies for the first time and thinking, "jeez, surely ALL their songs can't sound that good...". It was a while before I tracked them down again and actually got this album, but for six months or so I've been crediting them as my favourite band and recommending them to everybody I know. The CD opens with haunting feedback, followed by the upbeat opening power chords of "Still Here" ... then Graeme's voice kicks in, and the moment the chorus and the vocal harmonies start you just know that this band is something truly special. And they're surprisingly diverse too, with romantic ballads "Escape" and "Feel", melancholy epics "Here I Am" and "Perfectly Still", "Shine" and "Incinerator" being their more 'pop' numbers, while "Cold Light of Day" and "Sanctimonious" are more Muse-ish -- these two are also the major singles from the album which was probably a mistake in my opinion as these are not the best tracks it has to offer. Mostly it's the emotional power of the band that attracts me -- a combination of the songwriting, brilliant vocals and guitar tones throughout. I've heard a lot of people compare them to Muse, but after you've listened to them for a while you realise that they're about as different from them as Muse are from Radiohead. In other words it's a similar genre, but a completely different feel. Having recently heard some of their new material which has only been played live, in particular a great new song called "Every Race", we can only pray that Halo will release another album as soon as possible.
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