Review Summary: New school thrash with old school feel and new school technicality.
The new wave of thrash movement is for the most part very promising, giving us strong/solid albums from bands like Warbringer
, Gama Bomb
and Municipal Waste
, as well as more adventurous offerings such as Vektor's Black Future
. Havok is one of the newest bands on the scene and showed promise on their first albums, 2009's Burn
, but it lacked decent production quality and polish. 2011's Time Is Up
manages to be by far the greater album and one of the very best New Wave Of Thrash albums.
The band draws from similar influences to others in the scene, and you can feel influences from Exodus, Death Angel and Testament while listening to many of the tracks. This time the band has great, razor sharp production values allowing every member to shine, as well as a level of synergy that was missing from Burn
, but far more energy through high speed pieces like No Amnesty
, some of the most aggressive new wave thrash to arrive on the scene. Each member plays with technicality and aggression; David Sanchez performs some powerful thrash vocals, mostly in a fairly high register, while doing some solid rythm guitar work; Jesse De La Santos does some great basslines and is very audible on tracks like The Cleric
Reece Scruggs does some fine lead guitar work on many of the tracks and delivers some melodic solos where necessary, and drummer Pete Webber rips through the mix with some extremely powerful drumming, using double bass regularly as well as some more technical drum patterns.
The album almost immediately kicks of on a great note with extremely impressive opener Prepare For Attack
, which almost immediately showcases each members skills to the fullest, with a great solo and some powerful drumming throughout. Unfortunately, the main riff drags a little towards the middle of the track; luckily the solo starts up just after, so it seems fairly inconsequential on what is otherwise a brilliant thrash attack. The following tracks carry similar pacing and musical quality before hitting the melodic D.O.A.
, which turns out to be one of the better moments on the album.
Powerful tracks follow it too, and tracks such as Covering Fire
and Scumbag In Disguise
provide technical thrash assaults you'll be familiar with by this point, and the latter doing a catchy riff unlike those from earlier in the album. The final few tracks change pace quite seriously, with The Cleric
and Time is Up
starting at a slower pace yet being just as heavy as earlier tracks in the album, with the title track bringing some Annihilator influences to the table.
Unfortunately, the constant aggression could be considered a weakness in this album, as there are a number of tracks that get a little repetitive with the meatbeat of Pete Webber, as well as the occasionally stale riff such as the one in Prepare For Attack. Luckily there is enough variation to keep you on your toes though, and a variety of different influences are clearly displayed on each track.
Overall Time Is Up
provides a new school thrash album with some old school flavor and influence. It's not the most progressive or experimental thrash album but it certainly provides ample aggression and skill to be one of the most entertaining albums so far this year, and a contender with Warbringer's Waking Into Nightmares
as one of the best New Wave Of Thrash albums.
Time Is Up
Scumbag In Disguise