WILL HAVEN - Muerte
May 4, 2018, a year ago
Sacramento hardcore band Will Haven are back with their sixth full-length, and their first since 2011’s Voir Dire. But “hardcore” sells them short, as Will Haven are experimental, are dissonant, and are sludgey, and all three of these elements come into the spotlight on this great album. “Winds Of Change” dips down into atmospheric sludge, something the band has always done well, while opener “Hewed With The Brand” shows off all the dissonant, razor-sharp guitar work this band is known for. Huge closer “El Sol” features Stephen Carpenter of Deftones, which totally makes sense, sonically, and it’s a great way to end the album. Frantic, chaotic hardcore songs like “Bootstraps” just rule, but, as always, Will Haven shine brightest when they get sludgey; here, “Unit K” and “The Son” blaze bright like Neurosis, the band playing it straight, heavy, and so, so doomy.
“No Escape” starts off Meshuggah before Mike Scheidt of Yob makes an appearance, which proves Will Haven’s dedication to the sludge/doom cause, even if on other songs you’re tempted to call them melodic metalcore, which they can also be. And that’s the rub with this cool band: they really do their own thing, and on Muerte they sound as comfortable and confident as ever, putting the sometimes disparate pieces of their puzzle together with ease as the band dudes slide confidently into middle age, making this music perhaps better than they ever have before.