[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 9
Label: Candlelight Records
Website: Link
Author: John Savvidis[/colored_box]

Dear readers, welcome to the realm of the New Wave Of Thrash metal once again. We’ve talked about the latest amazing albums by Gama Bomb and Evile and now it’s time for another great and unique band to release something new: Havok. Some might remember that album called “Time Is Up” (2011). That album received ridiculously positive feedback for it’s incredible guitar work and intensity. Things went on the same level in the great EP that followed called “Point Of No Return” (2012), just a treat for the fans. One of a kind vocals (somewhere between Paul Baloff of Exodus and Schmier of Destruction) and guitar work which makes Bay Area legends such as Exodus and Testament proud of their legacy are the key points to the bands’ success.

So there were high expectations for their new album “Unnatural Selection“. The intro riff of “I Am The State” shows that those expectations are to be met including a kick ass chorus, top notch soloing and an amazing drum break after that then back to the chorus riff. What a way to start the record! “Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death” coming up next is the first single of the album starting off once more Exodus-style with another addictive riff, lead parts and overall riffage. This one with crack some bones on live shows for sure. A mid-tempo Testament-like riff leads us to “It Is True” with its darker and most melodic chorus showing Sanchez‘s vocal abilities. The riff-work is simply exceptional let alone the solo-work having more space to develop into great solo phrasing.

Drum breaks and a stop-and-go Thrash riff start off another mid tempo thrasher called “Under The Gun” showing a clear influence from Exodus (remember that kick ass song called “Verbal Razors” ?) a more rockin’ track grooving some more in the chorus. The rockin’ attitude and some Death Angel influence comes out on “Waste Of Life” as well as a really eerie yet addictive melody in the chorus going into some headbanging groovy riffage and great soloing. And that creepy heart pulse outro. Speed goes up again with “Living Nightmare” including a kick ass drum/guitar intro, headbanging verse riffs some amazing melodies in the chorus and solos making it one of the best songs on the record.

Another stop-and-go headbanging riff leads us to “Chasing The Edge” showing the modern Thrash influences and snapping some necks at midtempo speed reminding us of Anthrax including a great chorus and a fast solo dual break after the second chorus then back to the headbanging riffage. A mid tempo Slayer-esque riff begins “Worse Than War” giving us another headbanger showing the bands ability of writing solid neck-snapping riffs, one of them fading out. The next one is a cover of one of the greatest Heavy metal classics of all time: “Children Of The Grave” by Black Sabbath. Sanchez had the appropriate voice to support the song and play the monstrous main riff (one of the writer’s favorites). The title track comes in ripping fast and you imagine wild circle pits in live shows followed by a really groovy chorus and a simply perfect solo that reeks of Testament then back to a final chorus.

Havok managed to deliver their most mature album to date and proved themselves worthy of their place among the heroes of a new Thrash generation. Wish them the best, support them and crank this bad boy up to 11!

Track List Line Up
01. I Am The State
02. Give Me Liberty…Or Give Me Death
03. It Is True
04. Under The Gun
05. Waste Of Life
06. Living Nightmare
07. Chasing The Edge
08. Worse Than War
09. Children Of The Grave (Black Sabbath Cover)
10. Unnatural Selection
David Sanchez – rhythm guitars, vocals
Reece Scruggs – lead guitars, backing vocals
Michael Leon – bass
Pete Webber – drums