Will Haven: Open The Mind To Discomfort

Alt hardcore heroes delve back into the horror

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For hardcore and arty metal fans of a certain age, original frontman Grady Avenell’s 2009 return to Will Haven is up there with Jesse Leach heading back to the Killswitch Engage fold in terms of the restoration of the natural order of things.

It’s still clear quickly enough that the Sacramento five-piece have lost none of their fire in the transition, as Open The Mind To Discomfort begins ominously with A, its creepy, echo-laden piano line hinting portentously at the primal emotional violence that’s inevitably to come.

And sure enough, all hell breaks loose on Soul Leach, a dark, multi-layered slab of nastiness powering its way through sludgy riffs, Grady’s tortured, raw-throated howl once again painting vivid portraits of sheer horror. They leave no room to breathe, each song layered with ever heavier sediments of noise and beastly basslines from Slipknot’s Chris Fehn, with no respite to come up for air in between.

It’s a panic attack made flesh, a vision of claustrophobic terror that sends the pulse racing skywards as the fight or flight instinct kicks in. This is uneasy listening at its absolute finest./o:p

Emma has been writing about music for 25 years, and is a regular contributor to Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog and Louder. During that time her words have also appeared in publications including Kerrang!, Melody Maker, Select, The Blues Magazine and many more. She is also a professional pedant and grammar nerd and has worked as a copy editor on everything from film titles through to high-end property magazines. In her spare time, when not at gigs, you’ll find her at her local stables hanging out with a bunch of extremely characterful horses.