by Tim Birkbeck
Even though Will Haven have been around since 1995 there is still a criminally large amount of people who are unaware of their music and the band’s significance in the hardcore / alternative world.
To get a flavour of what the Sacramento quartet are all about all you have to do is listen to the opening couple of seconds of their new record, Muerte. The punching vocals of front man Grady Avenell sets the tone for the bands sixth full-length, which is coated with their trade mark down tuned guitar and bass tone, all tied together with Avenell’s raspy haunting vocals.
Will Haven has established themselves as a band that likes to buck the trend and is always expansive of their sounds. From 1997’s El Diablo and follow-up, WHVN, to 2015’s Open the Mind to Discomfort, there has always been a distinctive sound to the four-piece, but they aren’t afraid to mix things up either.
Muerte is no different, with the band allowing riffs and songs time to breathe rather than rushing to cram a song full of something unnecessary.
Through the 11-tracks there is not a single song which drops below the three-minute mark; it’s pure velocity and face pounding brutality.
Songs like ‘Kinney’ and ‘43’ are examples of Will haven at their expansive best, just allowing guitarist Jeff Irwin’s riffs to ring out as long as possible and leave the listeners body reverberating in their own skin.
Throughout the band’s career they have made many friends along the way and this is evident in the tracks ‘No Escape’ featuring YOB’s Mike Scheidt and the six-minute-plus epic finale ‘El Sol’ co-written by Deftones guitarist, Stephen Carpenter; demonstrating that Will Haven are held in such high regard among their peers.
Clocking in at just over 45 minutes, Muerte makes you feel like you are trudging through the thickest / heaviest mud getting deeper and deeper up to your neck. But once you realise you are out you just want to jump straight back in.
Muerte is out on minus HEAD Records in March 23.