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Havok - V Award winner

by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 02 May 2020, 5:10 AM

HAVOK is a 4-Piece Thrash Metal band from Denver, Colorado. HAVOK have been at it since 2004 and this is their 5th Full-Length album, three years after the disappointing ‘’Conformicide’’ album that was not really well received by longtime fans of the band and the genre itself unfortunately. This is the first album to feature their new bassist Brandon Bruce, replacing the departing Nick Schendzielos.

HAVOK had the daunting task of opening the Killthrax tour a few years back with KILLSWITCH ENGAGE and ANTHRAX. They definitely helped to start the evening on the right track. They were extremely solid and you saw that the crowd was beginning to warm up to these fellas. HAVOK are true to their Thrash roots, I would not say its paint by number Thrash Metal, but something along the lines of the new wave we got with bands like MUNICIPAL WASTE and TOXIC HOLOCAUST. A clearer sound but with an old school edge to it. I bet ANTHRAX backstage were smiling like seeing their kids on stage. HAVOK injected some energy in the building with old school Thrash Metal for a 30 minute set. No cheap thrills just pure headbanging goodness.

In a sense, even though you may have only three good songs on their last opus, songs they played live on this tour, I think they learned a lot from these bands during that particular tour. I think they learned a lot as a band, as a whole because ‘’Conformicide’’ was very generic at best and it didn’t have that attitude from ‘’Unnatural Selection’’. I think that tour truly defined the band and they sought out to come back to their roots on ‘’V’’. The addition of Brandon Bruce on the Bass gives them new life and a much needed kick in the pants. He is an awesome Bass player and fit seamlessly with the band on the forefront.

This is truly a return to form from the Denver band and they showed the whole world why they were considered as one of the very best New Wave of Thrash Metal bands out there. They stuck to basics and truly grown as a band and have put this effort and put them in a class of their own. This album ranks high in the list of best Thrash Metal albums in the last decade or so and 2020 has been an awesome year for Thrash Metal with instant classics from TESTAMENT and WARBRINGER, they continue to follow that trend upwards! This may be their most complete effort yet!

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Post-Truth Era
2. Fear Campaign
3. Betrayed by Technology
4. Ritual of the Mind
5. Interface with the Infinite
6. Dab Tsog
7. Phantom Force
8. Cosmetic Surgery
9. Panpsychism
10. Merchants of Death
11. Don’t Do It
David Sanchez – Vocals and Rhythm Guitars
Reece Scruggs – Lead Guitars
Pete Webber – Drums
Brandon Bruce – Bass
Record Label: Century Media Records


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