Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Havens - On The Verge Of Collapse

I love the concept of one man black metal. In an era where more and more of the people who might have been making this type of music in yesteryear turn towards hip hop and related genres, one man black metal actually somehow becomes more poignant. This Philadelphia based project seems to embrace both a love of nature but also an awareness of the blight upon the earth that Philthy Philly is rapidly becoming. The tracks on On The Verge Of Collapse have a beautiful power, but also reflect upon drug addiction, poverty and violence.

I enjoy the deeply introspective approach brought to the table by Havens on this record. There is something to be said for a song like 'Detachment' which kind of gets into the head of mastermind Daniel Donahue. In an era where so much of our lives seem to be suffering and global warming threatens our species very existence, On The Verge Of Collapse is a threnody for a struggling race. That being said - the execution here is not always what it needs to be. The mix and production is frequently lacking, as is the guitar tone. Their are also songwriting choices, like the use of screams over clean guitars on album closer 'The Storm Within' that feel a little questionable.

All in all though Havens is a compelling listen. On The Verge Of Collapse takes on some very heavy themes and reflects upon them with aplomb. This is a record that hints at a lot more to come because when it shines, it truly shines. The mix of influences is well thought out and the approach is interesting. I am very curious to see what happens as we delve deeper into the work of Havens and Donahue continues to refine his craft. As is this is a strong modern black metal release that leaves me interested to continue this sonic odyssey.

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