HAVOK - Conformicide
March 24, 2017, a year ago
Man oh man, Havok is back with another round of pissed off thrash metal, first with Century Media. Havok has always featured political songs on its albums, but Conformicide is predominantly loaded with them and they are receiving a great deal of attention with their anti-government, anti-war, big brother is watching you type lyrics and solely being judged based on that instead of the music. Well, this writer thinks that’s ridiculous. Since when have lyrics been the be-all-end-all critique of a metal band, especially a thrash metal band?! Mainman and vocalist Dave Sanchez makes a lot of salient points and while I or any listener don’t have to agree with all his takes, he spits them out with such conviction that takes the music to a whole other level. This isn’t pizza thrash; you’re not going to find songs about zombies, drinking beer, or partying.
When you really come down to it; thrash is all about the riffs and Havok come loaded chock full of them like the Vektor-inspired "Ingsoc" and attention getter "Wake Up". An acoustic diddly kicks “F.P.C.” and you are in for a whirlwind of chaos with a very metal theme in this song – “Fuck political correctness.” Stand out track is the news anchor led “Intention To Deceive” (brings to mind Megadeth’s Peace Sells video). I love the stop-and-go riff and then how it merges into a mighty stomper. The Megadeth similarities are not a coincidence. Even though Havok were unceremoniously dumped from a tour with the Megs, good ol’ Dave Mustaine must’ve had a lasting impression because Sanchez sounds like the Mega main man in certain vocal parts (“Dogmaniacal”, the bleak closer “Circling The Drain”). Yeah, there are a couple generic thrashers thrown out (it’s gonna happen with a thrash album over 50 minutes), but on the whole, this is a full-out attack targeted for a moshing crew.
Conformicide is a rebound from the uneven Unnatural Selection and certainly more memorable. Put the needle down, push play, and go wild!