Metal, Thrash Metal

Havok – V (Review)

Artist: Havok
Album: V
Genre: Thrash Metal
Country: United States (Colorado)
Release Date: 1st of May
Released via Century Media Records
Cover Artwork © Century Media Records, 2020

If you like Thrash Metal you will never come across that scene without having heard about Havok. Since David Sanchez (vocalist, guitar) formed this band in 2004, we never thought that this band would become one of the most anticipated leaders of Neo Thrash Metal.

Like Thrash in it’s nature, the band has formed and evolved over the time with many changes in their history. In 2015, founding member Shaw Chavez (vocalist, guitar) died under mysterious circumstances. Everything changed again while working for a new album in late 2015, because Mike Leon left the band to go on tour with Soulfly. Followed by Nick Schendzielos, Havok completed their North America tour as a supporting act of Megadeth. But in late 2016, the next bomb, the tour with Amon Amarth, Suicidal Tendencies, Metal Church and Megadeth was cancelled in a case of contractual discrepancies. For a short time there was silence around the band and in March 2017, Havok finally released released their 4th studio album produced by Steve Evetts and it was succesful, even in Germany they reached rank 94 in the album charts. What a bombing surprise!

In 2017 they gave us a teaser of what they prepared for us and the modern Thrash Metal world with “Conformicide”. Now, on the 1st of May 2020, Brandon Bruce joined the band and the album V is out now via Century Madie Records! David Sanchez focused his energy – he offered us to work further more in an experimental way regarding his lyrics and the recording of V. Getting the famous engineer, mixer and master Mark Lewis (Cannibal Corpse, The Black Dahlia Murder) on board was a perfect choice and the stunning artwork by Eliran Kantor is just outstanding! This albums serves as a consistently stable classic taste of Thrash Metal at its best, with eye-catching twists that don’t take the momentum out of it and even expand in an interesting way. Having hard times and heavy changes, this band shows you what Thrash is – undestroyable!

As a fan, I have to thank this band for serving us hard, heavy, savage pulsating riffs and gnarling, shaking basslines by new bassist Brandon Bruce combined with gang shouts or brazen choruses. Their retro-minding style still sounds murderous and sharp. Havok do not disappoint us and deliver as proven. The strong passages and partly grooving subliminal vibrations, especially in connection with the bass player, come across very well and directly invite you to shake your head. Man,in Germany we say “This goes down like oil!”

I catch myself again and again as the intense hard passages on “Phantom Force” tense me up and tear me out of every thought, David Sanchez’s voice is insane, I really feel the strength and energy in each of his texts and the gang shouts are perfectly fitted and let the earth quake properly. Furthermore, I also notice how bassist Brandon Bruce harmonizes with drummer Pete Weber and their meeting points in time are fantastic. Brandon is an obvious win for the band and you can really feel how powerfully and effectively this professionalism flows into the band structure, which has been tried and tested for years. It couldn’t be better. The development of Havok is consistently positive and once again proves why Havok should not be overlooked in modern Thrash Metal. You can feel something special in the new songs by Havok, the rhythm, partly groovy, partly classic and then suddenly bursting with power and explosion paired with rousing solos make this record incredibly hot.

“Panpsychism” is a great example here and – buddy – Brandon Bruce‘s groovy bass sound and David Sanchez‘ voice hits the mark! Great work by the whole band and great praise also to the producers and of course Mark Lewis, we owe them another modern Thrash Metal masterpiece that is second to none! Guys, I love this scene, there’s so much power in it. America and Australia in particular are delivering properly in 2020. Last to say say I love that new Havok style! Last album Conformicide was good, but V is something new that really compares to me. This album will steadily rush through my playlist and I will not miss any second!


9 / 10

Favorite Tracks:

“Phantom Force” – pure thrash! shredding riffs, speedful heavy drumming! David Sanchez’s voice is iconic!

“Panpsychism” – Damn, groovy, classic, modern thrash! Brandon’s play und David’s voice, just delicious!

As usual, we added the favorite track(s) to our Transcended Review Playlist 2020.

Tawan’s black vinyl pressing of V

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