Noise metal outfit formed in Sacramento, California, USA in 1995 from the ashes of hardcore band Sock. Grady Avenell (vocals) and Jeff Irwin (guitar) had both played in Sock, the latter on drums. After the break-up of Sock they were joined by Michael Martin (bass) and Wayne Morse (drums), naming their new band after the fictitious character William Haven. The new line-up quickly established themselves on the live circuit, touring with the Beastie Boys among others. A self-titled EP was released in 1996 on Landscape Records, leading to a contract with Revelation Records. The quartet released their highly acclaimed debut, El Diablo, in late 1997. A brutal collection of utterly contemporary noise metal, the album received ecstatic praise from critics and fellow musicians alike.
Riding high on the acclaim, the band completed successful tours the same year with the Deftones and Limp Bizkit. A summer tour with Max Cavalera's Soulfly raised anticipation for the September release of the follow-up, WHVN. From the opener "Fresno" to final track "Sign Off", the album confirmed the band's promise as sonic architects of the highest order, and one of the leading metal acts to emerge in the late 90s. The band's first album of the new millennium, Carpe Diem, was even heavier and more extreme than its predecessors.