Review: Havok – ‘Conformicide’

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Havok

Havok is an American thrash metal band from the mile high city of Denver, Colorado. Since being formed in 2004 the band has been dominating the thrash scene. ‘Conformicide’ is Havok’s 4th studio album and it was done through Century Media Records. It’s the first album with bassist Nick Schendzielos as well as the first release via Century Media Records. This is also the longest gap between albums, coming 4 years from their last effort. ‘Conformicide’ will be released on March 10th 2017. Relatively speaking, Havok is “new” to the thrash scene. They have been around since 2004 but have really secured their place in the new wave of thrash metal. They drastically change their sound with every record and that keeps them interesting enough to stay on top of other bands coming through the thrash scene. This album is largely centered around politics with another big focus to the record being a religion.

On the musical front, we have what we want, the Havok thrash signature sound but with an evolution to the core of the band. A lot more screams and just overall heavier vocal style. Less “punk” sounding at the very least. Instrumentally, though still present, we are left with a lot less groove and a lot more thrash. The previous album had crazy groove filled bass lines throughout. I’d also argue that this album is faster. It sounds like I’m complaining but it actually really helps this band stay prevalent with changing their sound on every record. I’d arguably say that this could be closely compared to their ‘Time is Up’ record as far as speed and aggression go.

Some of the tracks that really stand out to me are “Hang ‘Em High”, “Intention to Deceive” and my personal favorite “Claiming Certainty”. “Hang ‘Em High” was the first taste we all received for ‘Conformicide’ and damn was it a good choice. This thrash fest is filled with anti government/terrorism lines throughout.  It is also plastered with awesome lyrics. From the chorus “The enemy is not coming from over seas… HANG EM HIGH!” to the part that gave me chills when the lyrics are “UNITED SNAKES OF AMERICA” screamed. That last one, the first time I heard it, it made me lose my shit. Up next we have “Intention to Deceive”. This song starts with a fake news cast, basically setting us up for what this songs all about. “Its 5 o’clock and here’s what we want you to think” is the line we are left with before the actual song starts. What makes me like this song is the fact it goes from the newscast to a moderate speed average thrash song to an all out thrash fest. It literally has every piece of the puzzle. The last stand out track to me is “Claiming Certainty”. An anti religion all out thrash affair. This song does not stop assaulting your ears. Very high energy from the verse to the chorus to the solo’s. Best song on the record in my opinion. On a small side note. The song “Circling the Drain” just missed the top 3 for this record. It has a lot more of that punkish vibe to it with crazy bass groove I spoke of earlier. A big step forward for Havok. This album is another step forward for this band and they just keep impressing time and time again, setting the bar higher and higher. I highly recommend this record and everything Havok has to offer and I like forward to hearing what they add to their live set list.

Havok – ‘Conformicide’ Tracklist.

1. “F.P.C.”
2. “Hang ‘Em High”
3. “Dogmaniacal”
4. “Intention to Deceive”
5. “Ingsoc”
6. “Masterplan”
7. “Peace Is in Pieces”
8. “Claiming Certainty”
9. “Wake Up”
10. “Circling the Drain”

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