Since the bands early days with crushing albums like their debut El Diablo and its follow up WHVN and beyond with albums like Carpe Diem and Voir Dire, the Sacramento based Will Haven have consistently delivered the goods when it comes to their mixture of noise rock and metal with swathes of more experimental flavours. They follow up 2015s Open The Mind To Discomfort with their latest opus Muerte and they sound just as pissed off as they did when they first emerged over two decades ago with vocalist Grady Avenell unleashing sonic terror with his formidable howl.
That howl combines greatly with the jagged riffs and discordant rhythms to really hit home that Will Haven are back and are still creating such vital music. Tracks like the assured opening crunch of Hewed With The Brand, the truly crushing The Son and the closing El Sol (complete with a guest appearance from Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter) sound like a band at the peak of their powers, the years of experience that the band have put in paying dividends when it comes to these powerful tracks.
Although the bands heaviness and intensity is a major part of the Will Haven sound and both of those elements are represented fully on this album, there are flourishes of experimental sounds that elevate the tracks here. Songs like Winds Of Change feature almost psychedelic parts that work well with the huge barrages of noisy goodness and shows the versatility of the bands and their music.
The highlights on here are plentiful and the whole album is a joy to listen to in its entirety but the undisputed highlight has to be No Escape, a song that features guest vocals from Mike Scheidt, the frontman of mighty doom metal band Yob and while this merging of Will Havens abrasive noise and Scheidts passionate and doom laden vocals may seem a little odd at first, when it is executed it makes perfect sense and the song is a brilliantly epic and mournful collision of both bands musical styles.
With Muerte, Will Haven have proved that not only are they back with a vengeance but they are still delivering heavy, thought provoking and above all vital music.
The Sacramento noise rockers sound just as unhinged, pissed off and vital as they ever have on this furious new record.