THE DEMO CORNER
There are few bands associated with the recent thrash revival that I can get very excited about. Denver's Havok is one such group.
Havok references plenty of thrash classics with its sound while adding just enough of a modern feel to make the songs seem fresh. It's driving, energetic metal that doesn't try to reinvent the wheel; it just aims to kick ass. After two full-lengths and tons of touring, Havok has unleashed the Point of No Return EP to tide over fans until the next album drops.
Like most stop-gap releases, Point of No Return consists of some solid material and a little bit of fluff. With this EP, Havok delivers two new original songs and two covers of metal classics. The original tunes sound like they could have easily fit on 2011's Time is Up; however, that's not to say that either track feels like a leftover from that album, as these are grade-A tunes. "Point of No Return" is a straight-forward song with prominent bass guitar, awesome drum grooves, and verses that are reminiscent of Testament. The track is just a no-nonsense kick in the balls. The other original song, "Cradle to the Grave," is a faster thrash attack featuring more awesome drum work, a sweet dark melodic solo, and some brief Slayer-like moments. This song is much more involved than the title track. The cover songs are faithful renditions of Sepultura's "Arise" and Slayer's "Postmortem / Raining Blood." Havok unquestionably nails both of these songs, but after the two originals the covers feel more like a nice bonus than anything essential. Sure these covers would absolutely kill in the live setting, but on CD they won't exactly be a selling point since most metal fans probably own the original versions. At least Havok's renditions may turn some younger fans on to Sepultura and Slayer.
Point of No Return will tide over fans that need more Havok now, rather than later. The raging original tracks and the solid covers make this EP a worthy purchase for any established Havok fan. The uninitiated should start with Time is Up, and while we wait for the new full-length, Havok fans old and new should try to catch the band live. Havok doesn't disappoint.
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1. Point of No Return
2. Cradle to the Grave
4. Postmortem / Raining Blood
Total playing time: 20:21
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Label: Candlelight Records
Havok - Point of No Return EP
May 12, 2012