Quite simply, Will Haven’s latest EP is 23 minutes of metal bliss. Actually, don’t call Will Haven “metal”. They transcend the genre. 23 minutes of pure heavy music bliss is more like it. They’re back, baby! Sacramento’s heaviest sons return with an EP that will have longtime fans gagging for more and newfound friends asking themselves: “Why have I just NOW discovered this gem of a band?”
While Voir Dire was an incredible sonic statement for the band and heralded the recorded return of vocalist Grady Avenell after a brief hiatus, Open The Mind To Discomfort truly is the next logical evolution after 2001’s Carpe Diem. Fueled by these grandiose instrumental excursions credited to Jeff Irwin and Anthony Paganelli’s guitar and effects pedal experimentation (No keyboards here!), Will Haven do more with these nine tracks than most of their peers manage to accomplish throughout an entire career.
And those interludes! Creepy yet gorgeous, they reach into that David Lynch-ian state of mind touching on the inspired works of Angelo Badalamenti and his scores on both Twin Peaks and Lost Highway in particular.
As for the rest of the EP, it’s some of the best material Will Haven has created thus far. If our little post on “The Comet” didn’t whet your appetite enough then the moment “Soul Leach” thunders its way into your ears you should instantly have a new favorite band. Irwin and Paganelli along with bassist Adrien Contreras create this monstrous wall of sound together that meshes perfectly with Mitch Wheeler’s solid fills and staccato drum attacks especially on tracks like “Do You Have A Light” and “Pop14”.
Then there’s “Hermit”. Like a fantastical amalgamation of some of my favorite Will Haven tracks (“Moving To Montana”, “Stick Up Kid”, “I’ve Seen My Fate”), it’s brutal yet gorgeous and the perfect epitome of all that this band is as Avenell’s primal cries and shrieks drive this song and the rest of Open The Mind To Discomfort into an exciting new era.