Mar 10

Havok – Conformicide (2017)


It’s been four years since Unnatural Selection which makes this the longest gap between albums they’ve had. But this record reflects the fact that the time they took to write was well used. This album was worth the wait. 

Havok, kings in the new wave of thrash metal movement. Starting out in Colorado and recording their first demo, “Trash Can” in 2004, the then high school students David Sanchez and Haakon Sjoegren found their other bandmates by posting fliers up around their city. It’s the American dream. Fast forward about thirteen years, and
after a few ep’s and full lengths, they’re releasing their fourth studio album Conformicide on March 10th.

Right off the bat, we’re carried into F.P.C. with a beautiful acoustic guitar intro that brings a gloomy, somber mood. Suddenly everything’s flipped around with a super sick bassline. Nick’s slapping away and it couldn’t sound better. You can definitely hear the Suicidal influence in this song. Hang ‘Em High starts with yet another strong bassline then David throws some heavily politically fueled lyrics at you. My personal favorite line being “The enemy is not coming from overseas” … yeah, good shit.

Going into Dogmaniacal, it’s a pretty clever song title if you ask me. The lyrics, as usual, are also witty. For about the first minute and thirty seconds there’s a pretty long build up, but I think it definitely delivers.

The chorus is memorable and the solo isn’t just a bunch of quickly run scales like what we can sometimes hear with thrash. It’s actually got feeling to it.

I love how Intention to Deceive opens up with a fake news bulletin. I think it’s really sarcastic and the rest of the song’s narrative is too. It’s got a quick spidery riff thrown in throughout that adds to that effect as well. Next up is Ingsoc, it has a very snazzy groove to it. Kinda jazzy. You know the guitarists worked hard on this record, they keep switching things up and proving they’re not just busting out lazy power chords through the whole thing. Peace is in Pieces features some well-coordinated muting that makes for some heavy and super clean sounding riffs to shine out.

The symbolism of the title and lyrics I can appreciate. I’ve always liked Havok’s “fuck the system” attitude in their songwriting.

The cover art with the bars breaking where the brain’s at and the title “Conformicide” really sum up the record well. It’s supposed to be some sort of eye opening music that makes you question what’s going on in the world. This album features more technicality and fresh ideas, plus the bass is loud and clear and that’s always a plus. Seriously, the basslines could count as choruses themselves they’re so catchy. None of the songs drag on, and there’s no dead horse beating here. In conclusion, the writing is varied and colorful (this could be an instrumental album and I’d buy it), and the lyrical content and theme of the album is something I think speaks to a lot of people nowadays. Havok outdid themselves with this one.

Rating: ★★★★★


1 “F.P.C.
2 “Hang ‘Em High”
3 “Dogmaniacal”
4 “Intention to Deceive”
5 “Ingsoc”
6 “Masterplan”
7 “Peace Is in Pieces”
8 “Claiming Certainty”
9 “Wake Up”
10 “Circling the Drain”

Genre: Thrash Metal

Record Label: Century Media

Playing Time: 57:49


David Sanchez – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Reece Scruggs – lead guitar, backing vocals
Nick Schendzielos – bass
Pete Webber – drums


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