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Havok: Unnatural Selection

Havok is a hard working band out of Denver, Colorado that needs to be discovered by more and more fans. The last time I reviewed these guys was for their 2012 EP Point of No Return. That was a good release, one that included a terrific cover of Slayer's "Postmortem / Raining Blood." I was really impressed with the way Havok pulled off a strong Slayer cover and I liked their original music, though I didn't always think it was lyrically very interesting. With Unnatural Selection, the band not only successfully follows up on all their earlier work, but also gives listeners a bunch of new songs that are as interesting lyrically as they are musically.

These guys are at their absolute best when they play off the more punk-inspired qualities of thrash. Songs like "I Am the State" and "Give Me Liberty . . . Or Give Me Death" play off of these elements perfectly in their stated suspicions concerning government and in declaring the importance of individual human freedom. In these moments, Havok places themselves on a footing with the hardcore punk of the early 80s, even though their sound here is obviously more thrash than punk. There's also a very strong cover of Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave." I love the way these guys cover the greats; not only do they do it well, they also share affection for the kinds of bands that showed them the way in the first place.

If I have one complaint about this album it's that the songs sometimes stretch out longer than they should. These guys play with unbelievable energy and endurance, but their songs would leave an even stronger impression if they came in shorter bursts. Even though Havok is a thrash band, they are also a punk band, bursting with energy and aggression. I hate to see longer songs tame that energy. Still, the band delivers a strong album here, one that will please thrash fans, especially those looking for something reminiscent of the old school.

Track Listing:
1. I Am the State
2. Give Me Liberty . . . Or Give Me Death
3. It is True
4. Under the Gun
5. Waste of Life
6. Living Nightmare
7. Chasing the Edge
8. Worse than War
9. Children of the Grave
10. Unnatural Selection

Added: June 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2236
Language: english

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