WILL HAVEN- Voir Dire
This is no grand return. But only because Will Haven never really went away. Sure, it’s been over a decade since the high-water mark of ‘Carpe Diem’, and Grady Avenell is back after skipping singing duties on 07s ‘The Hierophant’, but the core of the band never split, always wrote and played together, and musically, not much has changed since their debut.
They still value mood and groove over melody, harmony or anything approaching a proper song, they still sound like they’re playing with scrap metal- guitars strung with steel cable- instead of instruments, and they’re still impossible to put in any one genre or scene. The familiarity isn’t frustrating though, instead their individual sound is infinitely, intensely, oh so incredibly satisfying.
‘Object Of My Affection’ contains enough sledgehammer-heavy yet somehow serpentine riffs for five songs, ‘Urban Agoge’ shifts and spits like Deftones tuned as low as they go, and if opener ‘Held To Answer’ combines the sludgiest bass tones (now ably provided by Slipknot’s Chris Fehn) with sparse, almost-ambient sounds, not to sandblast your skin but creep and crawl under it, ‘When The Walls Close In’ is pure, primal, naked rage. And this is truly rare meat- the sort of stuff that’s normal for Will Haven but other bands would struggle to produce. Hold the fanfare though, just remember that they’ve always been this good.