HAVOC UNIT is the reincarnation of Finlandís ÖAND OCEANS. Iím not sure why, but the band decided to just change their name. Iíve never heard ÖAND OCEANS before, so I cannot tell you if the name change is accompanied by a stylistic change, or at least a change in the approach.
All I can say is that the music on this album is absolutely hellish, with a relentless assault from the guitars, bass and drums, with the electronic samples and sound effects emphasizing a very mechanical and lifeless atmosphere. The riffs are very rhythmically ambivalent and syncopated, which drives the point of dissonance and tension that is being conveyed throughout the album. Odd-time chugging patterns are played against straight drumming, which further warps the music, which just increases the feeling of agony and hate. The growling/shrieking is also very spiteful, sounding like a very hateful human being lashing out at the world. There are quite a lot of samples on "H.Iv+", plus a few interludes, which sound *slightly* out of tune, purposely done in order to render the mood of the album sick and vile, and to increase the feeling of uneasiness.
However, halfway through the album, the biggest problem begins to be noticeable: For the most part, the guitars are pretty much playing variations on the same principle, which makes the album lose all the steam that is being built and lessens the impact of all the violence. If the riffs had a bit more variety, even in their attack, the intensity would have been at a high all throughout the album because of the change of pace and the variation, but this album peaks on ďGen.Eration Gen.OcideĒ, and goes downhill from there. All of the songs eventually start bleeding together, and no song stands out anymore.
It is worth checking out before purchasing, if you like unrelenting aggression and violent music, but if youíre looking for something with variations, this isnít for you. Then again, Industrialized Black/Death Metal isnít exactly my forte, so Iím not the best authority on HAVOC UNIT and their ilk.
(Online January 3, 2008)