Havok are no strangers to Extreminal.com’s affection, having been showered much love in their last appearance here. (Wink, wink.)
But guys, you wouldn’t believe this, “Unnatural Selection” is a beast of an album. Still executed along the lines of thrash metal from yore, the whole vibe on this record screams 1989. More than retrogressive, it’s retro-resurrective without sounding dated.
It really is worth repeated spins, however. Instead of settling for the usual buzz saw riffs and jackhammer drums, David Sanchez and the boys crank out these irresistible melodic servings that have hooks and crushing heaviness at the same time.
The album launches with the maddening pace of “I Am The State.” It gets crazier on the grooving silliness of “Is It True” and the headbanger anthem “Worse Than War.” Check out the excellent Black Sabbath cover “Children of the Grave” too.
The most commendable aspects of “Unnatural Selection” is the songwriting. The band really have topped their previous heights on this department. The quartet of Sanchez, Leon, Scruggs, and Webber are in fine form throughout and amid the swirling sonic darkness they sound like they’re having a fucken good time. It shows in the music you hear.
Take note, however, that Havok’s latest songs do have a message. The message is no doubt inspired by the emotional climate of our uncertain epoch, as singer-guitarist Sanchez manages to discourse on freedom and the sovereign individual on tracks like “Give Me Liberty…”
The rest of the album fares well past the halfway mark, which is always a good sign.
“Unnatural Selection” kills. Worth recommending.