Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has become known for its high poverty, drug use, and violent crime rates. It is lesser known for containing Fairmount Park, one of the largest urban park systems in the United States, and the slightly smaller Wissahickon Valley Park – the latter having been praised in writings by Edgar Allan Poe and Walt Whitman. It’s on the edge of this valley where HAVENS, the solo atmospheric black metal project of one Daniel Donahue, was born.
“I’m easily overwhelmed by the speed of everyday life, but there’s something very calming about being able to get away from it all,” Donahue offers. “I can take a five-minute walk and leave all the sirens and people behind and be completely by myself with nothing but the sound of rushing streams and calling birds.”
On the new HAVENS album, On The Verge Of Collapse, this duality is immediately apparent, transitioning between pummeling black metal and swirling passages of post-rock. There’s an urgency to the songs borne out of Daniel’s anxiety and fears, tempered with moments of respite.
On inspiration for the album, Donahue states, “I spent a lot of time examining my worst fears – chief among them my own mortality – and how I cope with them. It’s introspective, but there’s also some politics because I believe that ‘the personal is political’ so there’s no way to separate them.”
With the creator’s blazing riffs and forceful vocal conviction blasting forth on every track, the elements merge into a sound prime for fans of Wayfarer, Panopticon, Alcest, Falls Of Rauros, or Saor. Classic Swedish black and melodic death metal elements reminiscent of early Dissection and At The Gates explode throughout On The Verge Of Collapse, while a sense of urgency through metallic hardcore and metal influences descendant of Zao, Spread The Disease, or even Misery Index can be felt.
With all instruments, words, and compositions written and performed by Daniel Donahue, who also mixed and mastered the record, the cover art for On The Verge Of Collapse was created by Ken Miller.
Stream HAVENS’ On The Verge Of Collapse in its entirety RIGHT HERE
On The Verge Of Collapse is out now digitally via Bandcamp HERE and through all digital providers. Watch for an official video to be released in the coming months and stand by for further updates on additional upcoming HAVENS recordings.
On The Verge Of Collapse Track Listing:
- Generation Enslaved
- The Vanity Of Human Wisdom
- On The Verge Of Collapse
- The Storm Within
Originally conceived, and currently functioning, as a solo, studio effort, there are no immediate plans for HAVENS live performances. “I’m not against playing live, but I also have no strong urge to do so,” offers Donahute. “If the cards fall into place with a live lineup, it would be fun to play a couple local shows. Either way I will always write and record songs when inspiration strikes.”