HAVOK were out to impress with their TESTAMENT inspired debut offering “Burn”, but it’s their second album, “Time Is Up” that is going to get the band up there in the big leagues. Although many of the new Thrash bands in the last few years have been increasing their stock with great albums (look at the likes of EVILE, WARBRINGER, LICH KING, and DECADENCE) this is one more album to add to the ever-growing list.
The one thing that consistently sticks out on “Time Is Up” is that the band has massively improved on how damn tight their music is. Although HAVOK would never be considered a ‘sloppy’ band to begin with, the chemistry and writing on the sophomore effort is pretty astounding. This, if anything, is the true highlight of the album.
The riffs weave in and out of complicated classic MEGADETH style riff (just try to tease out the intricacies of “Scumbag In Disguise”), to more modern swing style like the stop-and-go guitar/drums on “Out Of My Way”, to rip roaring solos and howling melodic leads like on “D.O.A.” The drumming is still outstanding with great variety, keeping to that snare driven energetic basic, and even the bass gets some snazzy snippets in the lime light as it breaks off into its own thing like on the title track. The vocals are more aggressive this time around to match the higher intensity of the song writing and his snarling Punk screams match the band.
HAVOK shake their ‘inspirations’ off and grasp their own sound on this album. “Time Is Up” is cleaner in its production, tighter in writing and performance, and overall just a stellar Thrash release that leaps the band into the higher ranks of the new wave. To make a lot of puns in one sentence, this band is wrecking some havoc with this album and the time is up for you to get your hands on a copy. A must listen for both Thrash fans and fans of great Metal music. One of the best thus far this year.
Songs to check out: "Scumbag In Disguise", "Time Is Up", "Prepare For Attack".
(Online June 4, 2011)