September 2013 National Music Reviews

Reviews: Havok – Unnatural Selection

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Havok
Unnatural Selection
Candlelight
Street: 06.25
Havok = Vio-lence + Death Angel + Overkill + Agent Steel + Dimebag Darrel
With every “retro-flip-cap” revivalist re-assuming their duties as pencil pushers and Baristas, only the cream remains in the neo-thrash camp—and that’s just dandy. Havok’s rocked a cut above the feckless ‘80s imitators since day one, shamelessly copping chunks of top-tier bay area mayhem into their casserole, while freely adding their own ingredients. Unnatural Selection is certainly their most eclectic take on the genre, the third in a trio of highly regarded records. Megadeth worship is still evident on “Waste of Life,” as is the stop-start Pantera groove on “Under the Gun.” When mixed with the tribal percussion of “I am the State,” the NWOBHM-via-NYHC stomp of “Give me Liberty…” and their monolithic title track (a squalling nuke-splosion of hyperstatic gee-tarr fury), a new mutant creature emerges—one which showcases a thrash band hell-bent on carving their own niche and taking stylistic risks that their peers won’t…and it still rips. Bravo. –Dylan Chadwick
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