HAVOK ripped onto the scene with “Burn”, perfected it with “Time Is Up”, and now are punctuating their current Thrash supremacy with the brief if not spectacular EP, “Point Of No Return”. These Denver Thrashers have easily eclipsed many of their brethren in potent and refreshingly succinct music and for those new to their energetic and complex ways – “Point Of No Return” is great starting ground.
Featuring two new tracks and two (technically three) covers, this little EP throws down exactly what one would want from HAVOK. Intense, well thought, and expertly played Thrash Metal. The two new tracks highlight what the band does best with layered chaos of modern style Thrash riffing, loaded solos and leads that tear through the rhythms, and a fierce rhythm department of bouncing bass and snazzy drum licks. The snarling and soaring vocals tend to highlight with the pounding chorus of the title track while the insane chemistry of the drums and riffs on “Cradle To The Grave” give it a unique and groovier run.
The two covers are also well chosen as HAVOK displays their obvious influences from days of old. A SEPULTURA track from the massively underrated “Arise” might introduce younger audiences to the glory of the early days of the classic Brazilian act and the more standard SLAYER tracks (it’s a combination of two separate songs – one a fan favorite and one that more people will recognize in “Raining Blood”) give HAVOK something a little closer to home to work on. Both are very clever twists on the original work – with nods to the “Arise” cover for its Bay Area transformed vocal delivery – and easily show us that HAVOK can play up there with these stalwarts.
Thrash fans need to rejoice that we have new music from HAVOK so quickly after their phenomenal “Time Is Up” album while “Point Of No Return” never lets us down. It might be short, but this EP is worth every second of its playtime in complex and fierce Thrash as it tears your skull from your spine in the most impressive ways.
(Online June 8, 2012)