Havok Point of No Return
Havok’s sophomore release, Time Is Up, was one of the more enjoyable thrash albums of 2011. It’s wasn’t pushing boundaries, but damn it if it wasn’t fun as hell to blast as loudly as possible. The California band’s brand of thrash is a throwback to the early days of Bay Area Thrash, but encased in a modern blend of influences. While the group prepares for their next full=length, they’ve released what I would consider the prototypical EP — two new tracks and three covers of classic songs that are actually relevant to the band and their genre.
The first original song is “Point of No Return” and it is straight ahead, aggressive thrash delivered with plenty of anger. The song has it’s quicker moments, but that band excels at the mid-paced chug and churn as the vocals are spit as vehemently as possible. The song is catchy as hell and picks up right where the band left off with Time Is Up.
“Cradle to the Grave” is the other dose of original material that gallops over your skull with wreckless abandon. There’s more than enough riffage to head bang along with in this one. I loved the aggressiveness of the opening track, but this one is by far the better of the two new song — it’s catchy and has a guitar tone reminiscent of the stuff we heard on Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power. I also love the opening drum work.
As far as the covers go, no one covers Sepultura enough if you ask me and Havok’s version of “Arise” is as solid as you can get. The track simply is timeless and this band’s faithful cover only makes me want to throw on the original disc and listen to that whole damned album each and every time. The Slayer medley of “Post Mortem” and “Reign in Blood” are also enjoyable, but no one plays Slayer as well as Slayer.
It’s an EP, but it’s still got some quality stuff on it and if you need that fix until the next Havok full-length, then this is your remedy.