This Haven - Today a Whisper, Tomorrow a Storm
Vic Records
Melodic Stoner/Hard Rock
9 songs (46:34)
Release year: 2008
Vic Records
Reviewed by Thomas

This Haven are another so-called progressive metal band hailing from Sweden, with Dan Swanö firmly placed behind the mixing-board (He seems to be on absolutely everything Vic Records release these days). They’ve gotten a lot of great press during the later years, and have been featured on several radio shows and in magazines. The normally clueless Metal Hammer even stated that this is one of the more interesting bands to emerge out of the dark Swedish forests in recent years. These guys have been around since 2003, and have spawned some demos since then, this is however their first full-length and judging by their web bio, the ambition of This Haven is to create something new and fresh within the metal scene. Many bands have tried and only few have succeeded. Is This Haven on an accomplishable quest? Or are the goals they’ve set themselves a little too ambitious?

Well, first of all, I’m really struggling to understand why these guys, or rather their label, present them as progressive metal. This has atmosphere yes, but it lacks pretty much everything that makes a progressive metal band. Itch! is probably the only song that contains any form of tiny proggy bits due to some different chords, but is still way off. Secondly, while there is definitely a stoner-y vibe to this, it is really much closer to melodic hard rock than heavy metal. Picture a gloomier Audrey Horne and you’ll get what I mean. Thirdly, even though there aren’t a majority of bands doing this stuff doesn’t mean that This Haven is innovative as their music is pretty simple, straightforward and not the least, very monotonous. The guitars keep repeating themselves over and over again, and the stuff that is cool after the first two songs is definitely worn out after nine. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t good songs here, because there definitely are. The magnificent Welcome to Delirium is a perfect example on what the band is capable of, however, aside from a few other tracks it stands rather alone. The riffs are mainly directed towards the groovy side of metal, and seem to be locked up in that direction. The modern, chugging riffs seems to be the intro formula on every song here before it breaks down into a more silent verse that bursts into a very catchy, Audrey Horne-y chorus. If that is what you’re after, I guess you can’t go wrong with This Haven. It should be mentioned that this is their debut, which may be a factor on why this sounds somewhat rusty. On the other hand, this band has been around for five years, and should know what would make a diverse and enjoyable listen. Don’t get me wrong, this is enjoyable to a certain extent and does contain some quality songs. However, the lengthy and many unexciting passages through this colorless haven of withered flowers kills it, and makes this a merely average and boring listen.

"I have been a fan of This Haven since day one. There is something quite unique about the way they combine all their different influences, to come up with something fresh yet insanely heavy and catchy. With epic trackslike The Fallen and monstrous beasts like Hero of Your Hell and I Will Decieve This Haven can really break into the major league of metal! This album has been quite the journey for all of us. But for me it was worth every second.”- Dan Swanö

Epic? Slightly. Monstrous? Not at all. Catchy? Yes. Major league in metal? I think not. Sorry Swanö, you seem a little off here.

Killing Songs :
Welcome to Delirium, The Fallen
Thomas quoted 67 / 100
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