There has recently been a revival of thrash metal, and although I approach this revival with trepidation, I can appreciate the fact that Thrash has found a new home in this new generation. Nothing is more evident of this than the release of Havok’s new album, Conformicide.
Havok is what I would consider the flagship of the new Thrash metal revival. If the Thrash gods of the past created a Thrash metal university, I would call, Conformicide, Havok’s PhD thesis. It has all the trademark cornerstones of that bay area thrash sound, but there are a lot of East Coast and Tutonic Thrash elements mixed in for good measure. The album showcases the talents of each of its members equally: David Sanchez — lead vocals, rhythm guitar, Reece Scruggs -lead guitar, backing vocals, Nick Schendzielos — bass, Pete Webber — drums.
There are a few components to Havok’s new album that set it apart from just channeling and repackaging the old guard of Thrash. Most notably is the bass guitar as this is their first album with bass player Nick Schendzielos. His style seems out of place at first, but later becomes such an important part of the sound, and adds to the overall concept of the album. An album about non-conformity needs to have something that breaks from tradition, and the amazingly abnormal placement of the bass guitar is a much welcome departure.
The album remains true to the idea of Thrash metal; it is angry, it drives a much needed political message (drawing heavily from themes in Orwell’s 1984), and it is brutally technical. The album is strong from the get go, and it just increases with intensity. Each song has different things going on that makes listening to the whole album again feel like the first time you are hearing it.
Go buy this album and support Thrash! long live Thrash!
Born and raised in San Diego California, I grew up loving the action horror and sci-fi genres. The first R rated film I saw was Predator back when I was 8 years old. Aliens blew me away as a youngster and I made a M41-A pulse rifle out of paper towel rolls and rubber bands. I ran around for hours avoiding face huggers and blasting xenomorphs in my back yard and I am bringing that big imagination to Nevermore Horror.