Will Haven – ‘Muerte’ (Album Review)
Listening to Will Haven’s latest feels like discovering some vast, alien, rusty undersea structure. The sheer pressure Muerte puts your eardrums under is incredible.
Time has clearly not softened Will Haven.
“If you compulsively ingest so much musical filth that all of your bodily substances have turned black and gritty, Muerte is the album for you”
Muerte is essentially a hyper-intense mass of thick, sludgy riffs consistently on the verge of disintegration, sliced into often odd-time bars and broken up by the occasional foray into low-key ambience. As a long-time Will Haven and Deftones fan, closing cut El Sol (written in collaboration with Deftones axeman Stephen Carpenter) was an obvious highlight – but at the opposite end of Muerte, Hewed With The Brand and Winds Of Change prove that Will Haven are still fully capable of pulling out all the stops without outside assistance.
Between those points, Muerte will kick you in the head repeatedly while Grady Avenell’s screams sear your neurons. But for all its intensity, the lack of variation on offer makes Muerte predictable – and I found myself involuntarily zoning out after correctly anticipating too many extended riff sections, held chords, vocal breaks, and breathing spaces. To be fair, as a music critic I’m jaded as fuck – and die-hard fans of precisely this kind of music will doubtless not care less about predictability.
If you compulsively ingest so much musical filth that all of your bodily substances have turned black and gritty, Muerte is the album for you. If not, it still contains some must-listen tracks for any serious fan of heavy music.
LTK RATING: 82%
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Muerte drops March 23; pre-order it on iTunes here.