“Time is Up” is the sophomore release for the quartet based out of Denver, Colorado. These boys from the mile high city are a thrash metal band through and through. Follow up albums can be a dangerous proposition, expectations of the band, labels and audience sometimes meet and sometimes don’t. How does Havok handle the pressure?
The pressure is sorted in a pure thrash metal fashion. In your face, fast and loud is their answer. It takes only a few notes of ‘Prepare for Attack’ for the listener to realize that this release is stacked to rafters with thrash. The twin guitar work of Sanchez and Scruggs built on the back of harshly delivered vocals and thunderous beats give way to pure head banging enjoyment. Dropping into the equally ferocious ‘Fatal Intervention’, the boys are back with a vengeance. If thrash was a dead or dying genre somebody forgot to tell Havok. Listening to the first two tracks, thrash is not dead or even on life support it is alive and well and the lifeforce is Havok.
‘Covering Fire’, ‘The Cleric’, and ‘Out of My Way’, are just continued examples of superb technical playing on all fronts. Whereas the ‘The Cleric’ has a more riff driven feel and the other two tunes have a more note driven feel. Meaning that there are spiralling solos combined with riffs right from the start. This just goes to the diversity even a thrash band can demonstrate. It is great to see bands playing in a technical and progressive manner. The end result is a diversity through the tracks with all parts coming together in a tight manner. ‘The Cleric’ has the best bass lines out of all the tracks. It is a joy when a drummer or bass player get a chance to take the lead in parts of a song. This ability to not only play technical guitar compositions but put other instruments out in front show a confidence that is a welcome breath of fresh air.
To the naysayers of thrash, Havok has certainly proven that it is a viable style and proven it well. Musical proficiency and emotional delivery are part and parcel to all ten tracks on this release. This is a very nice slice of thrash from the four Colorado boys. We can only hope that this signals the continued return of thrash. Havok certainly is at the front of the wave holding their flag high and proud.