Havok, The Point of No Return EP

Jon Wiederhorn

By Jon Wiederhorn

on 06.01.12 in Reviews

Point of No Return

Unabashedly devoted to their ’80s thrash heroes

Denver thrash purists Havok aren’t impressed by hardcore rhythms, melodic choruses or endless breakdowns. They’re unabashedly devoted to their ’80s thrash heroes, and that dedication shines through loud and clear on their new EP The Point of No Return. The follow-up to last year’s eyebrow-raising full-length Time is Up, it features two mid-paced originals and two covers. The new songs, “Point of No Return” and “Cradle to the Grave,” are among the band’s best. On the former, Havok trample with double-bass drums, tree-sawing guitars, deft power muting and classy melodic frills that bring to mind the youthful spirit of Testament’s “Over the Wall.” “Cradle” is more like a mid-paced cross between Exodus and Anthrax, balancing fast staccato riffs and galloping beats with sustained chords, gang vocals and a 4/4 beat. The two covers, Sepultura’s “Arise” and the Slayer medley “Postmortem/Raising Blood,” sound faithful and reverential. Vocalist David Sanchez even nails the shrill climax of the line “Fatality, reality, await the final call!” Ultimately, The Point of No Return is continued affirmation that Havok are unlike most of their peers who discovered thrash through Metallica and Pantera. Their vocabulary is more expansive, extending beyond “The Big 4″ up to the present day. At the very least, the EP will leave thrash devotees banging their heads and hungering for a new full-length.