By now you don´t need high iq scores to figure out that Sweden has been at the forefront of Rock and Metal music for several decades, with innovative artists merging from every small town within the country. Among the swarm of Swedish high class acts you´ll find a marching quintet going by the name of HAVOK, attempting to forge their own Extreme Metal blueprint. Some months ago I reviewed the band´s six track EP “Apathy Esplanade”, which showcased some really strong and varied songwriting. Now signed to Vicisolum Productions, they´re ready to unleash their first full lenght album.
Sadly, “Being And Nothingness” contains only five new ones, including an intro, plus the five songs from the aforementioned EP. The debate on whether your previous material should be included into a five song full lenght album or not, won´t take place in this review; it´s a strategy I don´t care much for but then again I have to admit, the songs have enough quality to them and aren´t old material per se. Otherwise, everything on this album smokes of character and finesse! Each song fires smart songwriting and veteran-like instrumentation complete with foul vocals and enslaving atmospheres, scorching on all fronts embedded in a fat sound production.
An unexpected mediterrenean sounding intro paves the way for “The Monsoon”, which carries all the exciting elements of the band; fierce Death Metal blasts, dark melodies, experimental passages, and the progressive arranging of song structures. Another highlight is the eight minute epic “Century Of The Deviant” which again displays some fresh song ideas and balanced musicianship. I´ve already voiced my opinion on the awesome piano instrumental “Monologue With The Sky”, one of the most exciting post apocalyptic soundscapes I´ve heard in years, and a nice break from band´s trademarked hectic assaults.
The sky really is the limit with this formation, I for one am very curious about the band´s next step. For those who like well performed rollercoaster Death Metal with experimental edges, look out for “Being And Nothingness”.