Back with their 6th LP, noise veterans Will Haven have released an apoplectic collection of well crafted and coherent tracks in Muerte. Despite considerable lengths of time between albums since the turn of the century, they have managed to keep their sound fresh whilst sticking firmly to their roots, as previous efforts Open the Mind to Discomfort and The Hierophant show, and Muerte continues this consistent trend.
Opening the 11 track album, which aptly translates to "death", is the enormous 'Hewed With the Brand', a brutal and stellar start with pummelling drums and a heavy bassline, the album smoothly transitions from track to track, effortlessly helping to depict and discuss the titular topic through the crisp and accurate vocals and complex, diverse instrumentals. One of the more standout songs is 'Unit K', a journey that weaves and twists in unpredictable ways from start to finish, concluding with an epic flourish after an immense buildup.
The album is strong from start to finish too, with the finale, 'El Sol', being another highlight for the record. The 6 minute tune is more complex and deeper than many of the other tracks on the LP, but keeps the listener engaged from the first chug of the guitar right until the soulful final line, spoken gently by the singer. It ends the journey on a very strong high, showcasing just what the band still bring to the table.
Despite more than 20 years in the game, Will Haven show no signs of stopping yet. Muerte is a great showcase of how descriptive and immersive noise metal can be, especially from one of the scene's front-runners.