Monday, August 12, 2013

Havok-Unnatural Selection

Candlelight Records

Last time around it was Havok's 2012 EP, "Point of No Return", that I covered. With 2 original tracks and 2 cover tracks it served it's purpose of being a nice little "tide you over" type of release. Now we find ourselves looking down the barrel of this Denver act's 3rd full-length release. In a lot of ways it's more of the same while it's also both a bit of a step-forward in terms of overall effectiveness and a lost opportunity to lay waste to any of the naysayers. How so? Well, first what works. Vocalist David Sanchez is as good as ever on the mic and between his guitar playing and that of Reece Scruggs (Go Smack Alice and Monolith) things really get cooking as evident on the Megadeth-like track "Waste Of Life". With a new bassist in toll (Michael Leon of  the melodic death metal act The Absence) and the ever-evolving mad skills of drummer Pete Webber (indeed he is a beast on the drums) this 4-piece act thrashes things up while giving the listener cuts like "Living Nightmare" to enjoy. The band still revolves around the worship of Bay Area thrash in one form or another as heard on the album's opening track "I Am The State". Here you'll find yourself  neck-deep in the kind of thrash metal that made Death Angel so much fun to begin with and, while it might be stretching it a bit to proclaim that Havok are finally started to put it all together (at least originality-wise), it's one of those numbers that makes you remember why you got into thrash metal to begin with! While these kind of numbers are sure to please thrash metal fans there's only so much one can re-play these old familiar riffs before you start to see some of the cracks in the foundation! Unoriginality, therein lies the downside of Havok's 3rd full-length album. While it's got some rock-solid thrashers there is quite a bit of this album that, simple put, sounds as if it's been lifted from the very first wave of Bay Area thrash! Between that and a few dud numbers (one of which is a totally unnecessary and rather dull cover of Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave") and it ends up being a bit of stretch to say that all of this is better then then their sophomore release, "Time Is Up". Maybe a few choice cuts could qualify as such, but on the whole Havok's new disc is a tale of hits and misses. While it's a nice enough addition to this group's ever-expanding catalog, "Unnatural Selection" is not likely to end up as the band's crowning achievement. I suspect we might just see that on album number four. That is if they can keep at it together and truly evolve.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home