It’s been four years since the legendary thrash pioneers Havok released their last studio album Unnatural Selection. THe thrashers are renowned for creating music based on current negative situations happening across the planet. It's this that has made them one of the stand out names in the metal genre.
Album opener 'F.P.C' starts with a beautiful melody, the kind that brings a feeling that this could be the start of their new the journey. It has a mystical and lethargic sound. This song immediately shows off new bassist Nick Schendzielos with a finger snapping solo. David Sanchez’s distinctive vocals are hard to miss. It initially seems like guitarist Reece Scruggs takes a back seat for a lot of this track, but eventually he flies in with a crazy, finger shredding solo. Proving he hasn’t lost his mind blowing talent. Accompanied by drummer Pete Webber, the four piece fit together nicely. All of them have equally matched energy which sounds so phenomenal when performing together.
The distinctive bass rhythm is continued in second track 'Hang ‘Em High', and it's your typical thrash-y Havok hit. It’s fast, aggressive and a big middle finger to the western world governments. Sanchez repeats “The enemy is not coming from overseas” which is such a relevant statement for the current political situation. It is easy to tell they have a lot of passion in what they do, and they work hard to get their message across – In the most badass sounding way.
'Intention to Deceive' starts off with a fake news article, the news reader says “In the news today we cover trivial stories to distract you from what’s really going on in the world”. It then kicks into a hefty guitar riff. The track is a highlight from the album due to its genuine classic Havok feel. It's apparent that there's been an attempt here to make their sound more technical than usual, and it’s pleasantly noticeable.
'Peace is in Pieces' is a perfect demonstration of how hard the band have worked to make this album sound more technical. It’s refreshing to hear a band try and one up themselves instead of just playing the same songs over and over while 'Claiming Certainty' is reminiscent to an older Havok sound. It is accompanied with a breakdown that strikes as being somewhat unnecessary, but is clawed back with a screeching guitar solo.
Closing song 'Circling the Drain' starts promising with a nice riff, but then Sanchez starts signing instead of shouting which is a huge let down. It clear they were trying something different and left it to the end just in case it didn’t go down well. Some people may enjoy it, but more typically styled vocals would have gone down better here.
Review by Charlotte Griffiths