Back in the mid 90’s, Sacramento, California had a very artistic music scene. Bands like Far and Deftones were starting to leave their mark not only in their area but everywhere. During this time though, there was another band that would take a slightly different turn from what their friends in Far and Deftones were doing. Instead of taking the melodic plunge, Will Haven opted for more of a dissidence approach with churning riffs and pummeling rhythms. Through the 20 years the band has been together, even with different line ups, one thing that can’t be mistaken is the impact Will Haven has left in heavy music.
Now in 2018, Will Haven are about to release their (final?) album Muerte (via MinusHEAD records). This album is a complete encapsulation of everything that the band has put into their music and albums. The heavy is still heavy only this time, they have added a bit more atmosphere to their sound. In 2001, Will Haven released an album called Carpe Diem that truly cemented the bands place in heavy music circles. Muerte seems like it’s the album that would have followed that one up. Beginning with the smack in the face of “Hewed With The Brand” and “Winds Of Change” you can tell that this album is not going to let up. In fact the unrelenting nature of Muerte carries through with songs like “43,” Unit K,” “The Son,” “Bootstraps,” and “Now In The Ashes.” The songs “No Escape” featuring Mike Schiedt of YOB and “El Sol” which features Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter, really take the album to another level from all their others.
Vocalist Grady Avenell sounds as good if not better than he did at the height of the band way back when. Jeff Irwin (guitar), Adrien Contreras (bass) and Mitch Wheeler (drums) have crafted riffs and rhythms that will draw you in and then attack with a ferocious thunder. If Muerte is Will Haven’s final album, then they really are going out with a bang. The only thing left would be for Deftones to go out on tour and bring Will Haven along (like they did way back when) and let Will Haven destroy the audience. (I’m just putting that out in the aether).
Overall Rating: 9/10
Winds Of Change:
El Sol- Featuring Stephen Carpenter:
Review By: Brian Lacy