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Album Review By Iron Mathew
Havok are a thrash metal band from the USA formed in 2004. Their debut album ‘Burn’ was released in 2009 and placed them in the same thrash metal zone as countrymen Death Angel, Flotsam And Jetsam and Testament. Two more albums followed in 2011 and 2013, cementing their status as a global force in the thrash metal genre. The bands fourth album ‘Conformicide’ was released in 2017.
Havok are one of those unique bands that will never let you down and always deliver what they promise…no nonsense, full on, fast paced and very heavy thrash metal. Get past the quirky intro to opening song ‘F.P.C.’ and you have a very heavy and aggressive song. Maybe a little bit of a punkish vibe going on, but ‘F.P.C.’ is most definitely thrash metal. Full on pace exudes in abundance as ‘Hang ‘Em High’ rockets off at high velocity. Time for furious head banging, frenetic foot stomping and screaming at the top of your lungs to a simply breath taking aural assault. I mentioned Death Angel, Flotsam And Jetsam and Testament earlier…all of these bands have recently released albums, reconfirming that the old school thrash metal sound is by no means dead and buried. It is thriving and Havok are reinforcing that fact. With a sultry guitar intro ‘Dogmaniacal’ slow burns into life and hits hard with some savage guitars and thundering rhythms. The vocal delivery is menacing, the mood of the song is sinister and Havok are bludgeoning the airwaves with some of the heaviest thrash ever. A short news cast introduces the merciless and rampant ‘Intention To Deceive’. Pace and power abound as ‘Intention To Deceive’ sets a blistering pace that will invoke some seriously ferocious head banging.
There are two songs on the album that clock in at over seven minutes in length, the first is the epic ‘Ingsoc’, with its more melodic (and yea, I just said melodic) approach. Very heavy still with guitars that buzz and chug relentlessly and a mid to high tempo ‘Ingsoc’ has a mid song break that just scorches the earth as it blazes on through. Striding majestically into sight is ‘Masterplan’, standing tall and very proud as the intro builds and builds to a crescendo and then after two and a half atmospheric minutes, crash, bang and wallop, ‘Masterplan’ explodes into life and races off like greyhounds out of the traps chasing the rabbit… ‘Conformicide’ is turning in a breath taking and adrenaline pumping performance, both in terms of heaviness and relentlessness. ‘Peace Is In Pieces’ is abrasive and delivered at an aggressively quick pace. Lesser mortals would have been on the aspirin by the second song, but for all us true thrashers out here, we are standing tall and head banging furiously. There are no let ups in pace for a quick breather either, the thrash just keeps coming. The short blaster ‘Claiming Certainty’ is one of the fastest songs on the album and will pummel you senseless, such is its aggressive and savage nature. ‘Claiming Certainty’ is certainly not a lullaby…
…and if this next one was your morning alarm, well what a cracking start to your day that would be. ‘Wake Up’ is hard hitting and punchy and with the relentless chanting of “wake up”, you would be awake in seconds. Is there a better way to start your day than a dollop of thrash metal? Well, yea of course there is, but that’s a between the sheets matter for two consenting adults… The second seven minute plus song ‘Circling The Drain’ is a pulsating and brutally savage song that will hit your senses hard. Plenty of guitar work to admire and galloping rhythms intertwined with a superb and screechy guitar solo makes ‘Circling The Drain’ a colossus of a thrash metal song. ‘String Break’ is a sub one minute chaotic romp that sets up the final song ‘Slaughtered’, which is quite prophetically titled as ‘Conformicide’ has slaughtered the airwaves and savagely brutalised the senses with its highly energetic and up tempo pace. This is the kind of thrash metal that legends make, and Havok are deserving of that accolade.
Overall, a superb and savage thrash metal assault that will leave you breathless as every nerve is pumped with adrenalin rushing and exhilarating thrash.
Hang ‘Em High
Intention To Deceive
Peace Is In Pieces
Circling The Drain
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