Review Summary: El Diablo is sonic excess in its purest form that both exhausts and rewards the listener in full.
Will Haven were never trendy like their geographic musical neighbors and friends The Deftones
but on El Diablo
Will Haven are every inch as good. Just don’t expect to find much melody.
bears some similarities with The Deftones
in the way the guitar creates soundscapes but the similarities do not extend further. Will Haven have more in common with Earth Crisis
in their underlying beliefs and ardent harsh delivery.
Will Haven’s S/T EP was seven blasts of 2m30s tunes. Some of the EP songs were memorable (notably ‘Choke’) but the EP left mostly left promises and potential without a real imprint. El Diablo
fixes that. El Diablo
leaves a hole. El Diablo
leaves a gaping sore chasm.
is an example of how to harness raw power into a maturely produced recording. El Diablo
is eerie. El Diablo
is scary. El Diablo
is the devil. Each component of the band plays its part but none more than the bass player. The bass scrapes your ears, heads inside, liquefies your brain and then puts it back together as a sodden mess where even mushrooms can’t grow. It is glorious. That is not to say it is not 100% non-melodic, but it is the ground on which the band walks. The guitar serves to plummets and undulate harsh waves of sound on top of the bass onto which the demon talks whilst the waves of cymbals crash behind.
There is nothing so unfamiliar about the chorus-verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-verse of the compositions. The familiar structure allows you something to hold on to. You know instinctively where things start and end but not quite when. The result is an experience where you are forced to catch your breath and that the end of each song serves to make the anticipation of the next song more bleak and harrowing. This is Wuthering Heights the horror musical.
Unlike the EP El Diablo
comes down in blaze of melancholic horn glory, which acts as a wonderful epitaph after the constant incessant exhaustive power you have you just witnessed. The only way to overcome this grief is to start it over and play it again.
If you appreciate texture and are not afraid of harsh sounds it does not get much better than this.