Havok - Burn
Candlelight Records
Thrash Metal
11 songs (46:13)
Release year: 2009
Candlelight Records
Reviewed by Thomas

Fist album from yet another thrash band popping out of the USA, who after two demos and one rather successful EP got picked up by none other than Candlelight Records. 4-5 years ago one would have thought that this had to be something special. Now? Not so much. Thrash bands pop up and disappear just as suddenly like never before, and the trend is heading towards serious overkill. Very few bands manage to re-create the glory days, and while most of the bands are enjoyable enough, almost none manage to capture the heart of the average dedicated worshippers of thrash. This is probably where Havok, and countless other bands come in. Though this has great potential it tends to fall a little in between. The intensity, the riffs, speed and melody are all there. However, the nasty and dirty atmosphere, the will to kill, the power and war-like glory however, are missing. Everything this band does have been put out before, which makes it a little hard to follow as your attention fades in and out. It is with this as with everything else, the cool riffs catch your attention for the first couple of songs before everything drifts by like clear smoke. So basically Havok has the same problem as any other new retro thrash-act. They fail to make it interesting and to add their own characteristics and personification on it. It’s good fun for the first couple of spins before it drifts into boredom.

This does however not mean that this is entirely bad, because it isn’t. There are by all means a couple of songs here that will reach top fifty at the end of the year. The guitar work is especially excellent on a fair share of songs, and the leads are nearly always what keep their ugly heads above water. Some of the references to the good old days are nearly spot on such as the charming gang shouts and the punishing drums. Due to this being pretty polished in terms of production, you won’t get the same feeling spawned straight out of hell as you will with say, old Destruction or Slayer, but the will to succeed is certainly there though it’s less audible at times. The thing about the riffs that impresses me most is that even though they come off as annoyingly simple from time to time, they never let up, and drive the songs forward in a natural progression which is both comfortable and rather pleasing actually. The worst thing I know is when bands are trying to embrace stuff they’re so far from completing that it actually makes me feel sorry for them. Even though Burn is pretty safe and straight-forward, they manage to keep it good and clean without wandering off into unsafe places that they’re not yet ready to explore.

Despite the sometimes nearly ridiculous replicating of the obvious bands and the fact that this doesn’t do much to stick out from the crowd in terms of, well, pretty much everything, they do manage to keep this good fun for as long as it lasts. They show potential, and what remains now is a proper leap in the right direction on the next album. If there will ever be one of course. I refuse to believe that the current thrash-tsunami is only tiring the ever-expecting crowd and not the musicians themselves. Hence the expectations for something fresh as a follow up.

Killing Songs :
The Root of Evil, Identity Theft
Thomas quoted 71 / 100
Other albums by Havok that we have reviewed:
Havok - Unnatural Selection reviewed by Goat and quoted 82 / 100
Havok - Time is Up reviewed by Crash and quoted 86 / 100
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