Reviewed: June 2012
Released: 2012, Candelight Records
Denver’s Havok has been playing their brand of old school thrash since 2004. Currently they are making a name for themselves, touring in Europe for the first time with 3 Inches of Blood and Goatwhore after just completing a US tour with thrash titans Sepultura and Death Angel. After two full length albums (2009’s BURN and 2011’s TIME IS UP, both with Candelight Records), Havok have recorded a new EP, POINT OF NO RETURN. If you like fast 80s thrash in the vein of Death Angel, this is right up your alley.
POINT OF NO RETURN contains two original tracks and three classic covers. “Point of No Return” features a blazing fast guitar assault with hammering drums and frequent tempo changes. David Sanchez vocals are pure thrash, like a lighter version of Death Angel’s Mark Osequeda. “Cradle to the Grave” is solid thrash with Megadeth / Metallica style riffing. Chorus is catchy in an Overkill way. Then we get to the covers, Sepultra’s “Arise” and Slayer’s “Postmortem” and “Raining Blood”. “Arise” is a great homage to the old Max Cavalera fronted Sepultura , complete with the atmospheric intro, blistering guitars, and gruff vocals. It brought back some early 90’s metal memories for me! On the other hand, the Slayer covers are serviceable but weak compared to the originals. The early part of “Postmortem” is too fast, thus is doesn’t set up the schizophrenic tempo change in the second half of the song. “Raining Blood” is ok but nothing special. If you want to see how to cover the legendary Slayer, check out Malevolent Creation’s version of “Piece by Piece” on AT DEATH’S DOOR II. That, my metal friends, does Slayer justice.
POINT OF NO RETURN is a powerful EP and a great introduction to throwback trash band Havok. Recommended.
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