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Havok - Apathy Esplanade (7,5/10) - Sweden - 2008

Genre: Death Metal / Progressive Extreme Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 32:34
Band homepage: Havok

Tracklist:

  1. As The Clouds Gain Momentum
  2. A Pyrrhic Victory For Humanity
  3. Paramount
  4. Monologue With The Sky
  5. Century Of The Deviant
  6. Stormfeed
Havok - Apathy Esplanade

Word on the streets in Sweden, is that this band is the next big thing in innovative Death Metal! These guys started out as ECLIPTICA back in 2003 with a vision concerning Technical Thrash Metal, but once they acquired drummer Johan Cronqvist, things got ugly, and their blueprint turned into chaotic yet innovative Death Metal with the Thrash influences intact.

 

With only two light demo recordings, it seems the band has gained a lot of positive feedback, and trust me, this EP will further cement their reputation as a new and exciting formula. Comparisons towards OPETH have been made more than once, and while HAVOK have very little in common with Åkerfeldt and co. (beside the Death Metal foundation), they share the same innovation, a need to do something different. Unusual ideas are put into use, fleshing the songs out into 6-8 minute journeys that portray the oncoming downfall of the world as we know it.

 

The songwriting is extremely varied. Sure there´s lots of thrashing and blasting (with a similar destructive aura like THE FORSAKEN had going), but the tempo always stays fresh due to some intelligent fills from every instrument. Opener, “As The Clouds Gain Momentum”, is a “calm before storm” intro piece with distant thunders, slow acoustic guitar playing, and some misanthropic quotation, all done with tasteful execution. “Monologue With The Sky” is another interesting piece with post apocalyptic piano arrangements playing along with what sounds like old movie cameras rolling, eerie and original.

 

The remaining four tracks melt Technical Death Metal with semi progressive instrumentation and calmer passages that are well thought out and fitting. You´ll find some sharp riffs with cunning melodies aplenty, brutal vocals, fantastic drumming, basically a kickass dosage of Death Metal music that treads into several places outside the norms of the genre.

 

Seriously, you owe yourself to check this band, if you miss some creative sparks in your Death Metal.

(Online April 26, 2008)

Frodi Stenberg



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