Havok: Conformicide Review

Over the years i’ve had a love hate relationship with Havok.  I loved their first album Burn when it came out in 2009, but was slightly dissapointed in there follow up Time is Up released 2 years later.  Their third album Unnatural Selection was good, a bit boring and drawn out at times, but overall a good modern thrash album.  So when it came to my attention that Havok was releasing a new album I was a bit hesitant. I loved their music, but I really didn’t want to shell out $30 for a vinyl (the best way to listen to music by the way) that I wasn’t going to be hyped for.  I decided to forego the pre order and wait.  Now I am regretting my decision.  The one time I decide not to pre order an album, it turns out to be one of the best released by the band.  Just my luck.

havok-top-2013

Conformicide is Havoks first release with label Century Media after having their previous three albums released with Candlelight records.  Conformicide is another album that dives deep into the modern thrash sound that Havok has created over the years listening to and playing with old school thrash outfits like Megadeth and new school bands such as Warbringer.

The album is riddled with content swirling about the path society has taken in the past few years with the advent rise of P.C. culture, the growing trust gap between people, politicians, and news media outlets, and the role consumer play in modern culture.  In adittion the band also touches base on some of the darker aspects of religion while taking time to have their thoughts on the subject take flight.  The album is a hot bed sure to not please everyone with a political belief that goes one way or another.  In the immortal words of Slayer “I hate everyone equally”.

The musicianship by all members of the band is as usual very solid, they make their expertise of their instruments known and showcase an excellent array of master-ship as well.  The riffs off of Conformicide are honestly the catchiest and best the band has written in my opinion, even while only having 50% of my attention drawn to the music I found myself remembering the riffs off the record and  getting down into the madness as well, something I had a difficult time with on previous Havok records like Time Is Up.

All songs are very catchy but still run on a bit longer they should.  I know its a thrash staple, but the long drawn out opening is got old 20 years ago.  To me its just an excuse to draw the song out to past 5 minutes, something that every band tries to do because all the successful metal bands back in the day did.  But they made that intro interesting and worth while, here its just a time waster.  Some of the songs like “Materplan” could/should have been shaved down by a minute, minute in a half.

Overall the record is very good and stays consistent in its lyrical themes and musicianship to the very end.  Its a great thrash album that Havok should be proud they produced, for its the best in their career.  This album definately puts them ontop as the apex of modern thrash, firmly taking the spot Evile had only a few years ago.  My only regret with this record is that I wish I pre-ordered it when I had the chance.  I guess i’ll have to suck it up and deal with Spotify for the time being, until I can afford to grab the LP one of these days.

Notible Tracks:

F.P.C

Hang Em High

Intention to Deceive

Wake Up

Circling the Drain

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Author: michaelrgrezlikowski

UCF Marketing Major and Mass Communication Minor

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