"Muerte", the sixth full-length album from noise metal legends WILL HAVEN, can be streamed in its entirety below. The disc will be released on March 23 via Minus Head Records.
The origins of WILL HAVEN can be traced back to 1995, when they first emerged as a staple in Sacramento, California's storied underground. For over two decades, they've existed on the fringe of extreme music — championing an apocalyptic amalgam of metal, noise, hardcore, and alternative all their own.
WILL HAVEN breathes entirely new life into its sound with "Muerte" (Spanish for "death"), taking notes from the past but incorporating modern tones to create a chaotic, haunting auditory attack.
"All said and done, we spent two years on this record," said WILL HAVEN guitarist Jeff Irwin. "We had more time than ever to fine tune the music. We really benefitted from that. We're also more in tune with who we are. It's the first time I walked away going, 'There's nothing else I could've done to make this better.'"
Throughout 2017, the members of WILL HAVEN secretly recorded "Muerte" at Pus Cavern Studios in Sacramento with Joe Johnston engineering and co-producing alongside Irwin. They pieced together a corrosive, chaotic, and cohesive vision that never relents over its 11 tracks. Mastering was handled by Logan Mader (DEVIL YOU KNOW, FEAR FACTORY, PERIPHERY).
Irwin added about recording "Muerte": "It felt like a rebirth. It sounds like a whole new band. There's a chemistry that only the four of us can achieve. Who knows what's next, but this is everything we were always meant to be on a record."
Asked how Stephen Carpenter of DEFTONES ended up making a guest appearance on the last song of the album, "El Sol", Irwin told Metal Temple: "I have been friends with Stephen for a very long time. He was one of my close friends before WILL HAVEN was even thought of, so before I really played music, I watched Stephen play guitar. He was a huge influence on me, not just musically, but personally. He is just a super-awesome guy and I was always blown away by his talent. He didn't play guitar like other people — no solos, no silly riffs; he was all about the song, making it sound big and giving it emotion. I loved that about his playing. So when I started WILL HAVEN, everything I had learned from Stephen I put into my playing and songwriting. I have always wanted to collaborate with him but just never did it. I have no idea why, so when I started working on this record, I called him up and I was, like, 'Hey, would you like to write a song with me for our new record?' And he said, 'I would love to. I'll send you something in a few days.' and 'm thinking it would take a while to get something because he is a super busy guy. Three days later, he sent me an eight-minute song full of riffs. I was so stoked when I listened to it because he captured that WILL HAVEN vibe but put his spin on it — it was perfect. After I got it, I just went in and kind of chopped it up a bit and added my guitar parts to it. It actually came really easy. I think we have a lot in common songwriting-wise and in some ways, we still influence each other, so we just gelled really easy. I had a blast working on it, and we talked about doing more stuff in the future. I'm excited to see what we can come up with. For me, it was time to do something with him. He and the DEFTONES have been a huge part of my and WILL HAVEN's development, so for me, this had to happen at some point. We have a family vibe between our two bands, and that's how it felt when working on this song."
"Muerte" track listing:
01. Hewed With The Brand
02. Winds Of Change
04. The Son
06. No Escape (feat. Mike Scheidt of YOB)
07. Unit K
08. Ladwig No. 949
10. Now In The Ashes
11. El Sol (feat. Stephen Carpenter)
WILL HAVEN will perform at four California shows and one Oregon show this spring, including a May run with FAKE FIGURES.
WILL HAVEN is:
Grady Avenell - Vocals
Jeff Irwin - Guitar
Adrien Contreras - Bass
Mitch Wheeler - Drums
Photo credit: Rockin Ryan Richardson