"Time Is Up"

By Dr. Abner Mality

I saw these dudes play in front of a crowd of about 20 people back in early November and I knew then that their next album was going to be something special. If you can thrash the hell out of a lame crowd on a Wed. night in Rockford, Illinois, you've got what it takes to move ahead in this business.

This is real pure thrash with brains as well as guts. The Havok boys really nail that Bay Area sound yet manage to avoid cloning Metallica, Exodus, etc. First two tracks "Prepare for Attack" and "Fatal Invervention" are a good warm-up for what's to follow, kind of like stretching exercises before the big work-out. That fat-blasting carb-burning workout really starts in earnest wtih "No Amnesty" and from there on out, there's no looking back as Havok unleashes intense yet complex thrashers such as "Covering Fire", "Scumbag In Disguise" (great title!) and "Out Of My Way". Unlike some other recent new wave thrashers I've heard, the band gets a killer production that reeks of the 80's but doesn't lose power or sound cheap. Vocalist Dave Sanchez warms my heart when he cuts loose with those high-pitched early Tom Araya type shrieks. He does those just right!

For old-time thrashers wondering if new bands can capture the magic of yore, Havok is your answer. A top notch ass-kicker!