Review Summary: Harmless Thrash
It is of common knowledge that Thrash genre is dead. Nowadays, I am afraid to say, the world seems to focus more on other genres which overshadow our beloved Thrash, and the worst part is that there is nothing we can actually do about it. Old Thrash giants producing hit or miss albums which just can't live to their golden past is something natural today. It hurts, but it is that way.
However, over the last few years, there has been a movement called Thrash Revival or Neo Thrash, what means that there is new generation of bands trying to revive this genre. Havok, born in Denver, Colorado in 2004, is one of this wave of new Thrash Metal bands, and it is also one of the most renowned in this movement, along with other bands such as Vektor and Warbringer.
Their debut album, Burn, released on 2009, displays a classical Thrash approach, with harsh vocals, tight riffing and some fast drumming. You will find some really good moments scattered throughout the album, for example the riffing of The Roots of Evil
, or the straightforward closer Afterburner
. However, the albums fails on its consistency. Among the fine headbanging parts, there are plenty of periods of time when the music just seems to be forced, and the riffing feels uninventive and fails to attract. This, plus some really average vocal performance and sub-par lyrics brings down the album quite a lot.
There is no doubt about the instrumental proficiency of the members: while nothing out of this world, guitar parts are well executed, drums are decent, and you can hear the bass doing its job here and there. Despite of this, there is a great lack of originality present on the album, what is evidenced by weak songwriting for the most part.
Overall, Havok’s debut is an album which fails to be considered as a Thrash Revival act, for it falters on energy and innovation. It brings nothing new to the genre’s scene, giving proof that, sadly, Thrash Metal is a genre where there is nothing or little more to be said. However, there are moments on the album which give a hint about this band’s general ability, and leaves quite a lot of room for improvement. If the band succeeds on enhancing their songwriting and polishes some details which separate good bands from average ones, then we could be talking about a true Thrash Revival band. But for the time being, we can only hope.