Havok is an American thrash metal band and “Conformicide” is their fourth studio album.
Havok have a very old school thrash metal vibe to their sound. They really sound like a more brutal Megadeth, the biggest difference being the retched vocals of frontman David Sanchez, and honestly for me they are more interesting and sound better than Megadeth ever did. While Havok succeed with this familiar sound, they are more than just an homage to their influences. The band showcase some pretty cool characteristics and innovative mash-ups in their songs. For example, I never would have imagined hearing some funky slapped bass in a thrash metal song, but Havok delivers it with the song “Hang ‘Em High”. Also, I really dug the punk style of “String Break” and I would love to hear it carried into a longer song.
On “Conformicide”, the band continues to deliver on the fundamentals of great thrash metal. The guitars are fierce and the solos are blazingly fast, the drums are relentless, and the vocals sound like a demon on speed. I also appreciate the lyrics on the album which address your standard grievances among thrash metal artists (religion, war, corporations, government) but they do so in a sincere and direct manner.
While “Conformicide” is a great record, I do think that some of the songs lack more memorable guitar riffs or something sticky to catch in my brain. But that complaint aside, Havok have delivered a blood-pumping and impressive metal album and they continue to be one of the best modern thrash metal bands out there.
Favorite songs: “Hang ‘Em High”, “Dogmaniacal”, “Peace is in Pieces”, “String Break”