CD review HAVOK ‘V’

US thrash metallers Havok release with their new album a next highlight in the thrash metal career. The quartet, hailing from Denver, Colorado, simply entitled the new longplayer ‘V’, and yes, it’s their fifth record in 11 years.

Things started for Havok in 2004 with a debut album that has been revealed in 2009. Since then the quartet releases records in a regular 2-3 years pattern. Since almost to date three years ago ‘Conformicide’ has been released it’s time for ‘V’ to pick things up where the band ended with the previous record.

Havok’s music, that’s Bay Area influenced thrash metal with a stronger link to the sound of bands like Exodus. Razorblade-sharp riffs, a hard working rhythm-section and venomous vocals are the key-ingredients of an album that belongs to the real strong releases this year. As mentioned, Havoc is inspired by the sound of some thrash metal veterans but they totally add their own share to each of the songs.

What makes the album so strong is the level of variety the bands brings to the plate. There are simple and aggressive tracks on the album, being a sucker punch in the gut. ‘Fear Campaign’ is one of these massive tracks.

Than there are songs like ‘Betrayed By Technology’ and ‘Interface With the Infite’, being rather complex thrash metal monsters. Havok shows with these tracks that thrash metal can be much more than into-the-face riffs. Those are included on ‘V’ too but it’s the songs with a more complex structure, showing the bands development over time. There were moments I had to think of bands like Coroner while listening to some of these thrash metal anthems.

Next to the blistering music, Havoc also adds lyrics to their songs that are far beyond genre-stereotypes. The album can be seen as a ‘wake-up’ call to everybody with songs like ‘Post-Truth Era’ where the titel says it all. Think for yourself before believing everything you get served through e.g. social media.

‘V’ is a milestone album for the Colorado-based thrashers and it’s on of the best thrash metal releases in years. What a pity that live shows are cancelled at the moment since I would love to see the band performing these songs live onstage. Two thumbs up.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Post-Truth Era
  2. Fear Campaign
  3. Betrayed By Technology
  4. Ritual of the Mind
  5. Interface Wth The Infinite
  6. Dab Tsog
  7. Phantom Force
  8. Cosmetic Surgery
  9. Panpsychism
  10. Merchants of Death
  11. Don’t Do It

Label: Century Media

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: May 1st, 2020

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