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Havok - Burn review


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Band: Havok
Album: Burn
Release date: June 2009

01. Wreckquiem
02. The Root Of Evil
03. The Path To Nowhere
04. Morbid Symmetry
05. Identity Theft
06. The Disease
07. Scabs Of Trust
08. Ivory Tower
09. To Hell
10. Category Of The Dead
11. Melting The Mountain
12. Afterburner

Havok redefined my taste in thrash metal. They proved that brilliance in songwriting can compensate for superior -out of this world- technical skills. Burn is a prime example of simple, non-complicated, yet fine-crafted piece of music that goes into thrash metal history, and maybe in the curriculum of "how to play thrash metal" class !

This album has everything; fast gallops, slow head-banging riffs, atmospheric "blackened" parts, melody, fast solos, the video-game finger-tapping, janitor-class sweep-picking, painful pinch-harmonics, rumbling bass-lines, thrashy non-extreme vocals, no head-crushing screaming, nor mellow singing, all blending into one consistent piece of art that blows me away. And the thing is, the lack of long shreds, tracks-long of bass drums, and other showing off of skills is what makes this album different than its counterparts, and is compensated by innovation and excellence in songwriting, each track is loaded with a handful of riffs that could be made into separate tracks if repeated over and over, but not with Havok. They're not savers at all and they put everything they've got into Burn.

They surely didn't rush the album, gave it it's time to come out as the masterpiece it is, they remind of Artillery / Exhorder / Kreator / and in some parts early Megadeth. Yes, Burn could be featured in poll against Rust in Piece and would score quite some votes too!

When you listen to the album you get that raw vibe, that bay area original sound you've missed for so long. You know, that sound of bay area bands when they decided to bring up the act and change their "amateur" status into pioneers of a genre. Yes, this is exactly the sound you're thinking about, musicians throwing everything they've got to make awesome debut albums, even if they still can't shred like Malmsteen or Petrucci, they'd jerk off with the whammy bar to get cool sounding solos and play simple riffs at fast pace with alternating palm mutes and adding some pinches.. that kind of stuff that would overwhelm the listener.

The production of the album isn't too Trivium-polished, nor Black Metal-cheesy, it is just perfect, no Roadrunner studio recording tricks, nor recording in your own bathroom with a microphone and a double-deck cassette tape kinda thing.. just the decent acceptable average.

I urge everyone to go out and buy that album to see what I'm talking about, as I probably can't find the proper words to describe it and give it the praise it truly deserves. I've had the CD in my car for weeks now and I just can't get enough of it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 10
Originality: 9
Production: 9

Written by Zombie | 15.07.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 7   Visited by: 152 users
15.07.2010 - 02:14
Wow, that's a nice review ezz, good work ! hehe

seriously, BUY that album !

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free
Johann Wolfgang van Goethe 1749-1832
18.07.2010 - 22:14
Edmund Fogg
I might have been living under a stone in the past couple of years but it's the first time I hear about these guys.Great review,I'll see if they live up to the praises your giving them after work.
You cannot sedate all the things you hate - MM
The Observer is the source of reality - Bloom
God damn it!! What did Diddy didn't do? - Satan
19.07.2010 - 09:54
Its quite a concidence...i was listening to them last week. and also partly during the weekend
Yes, they kick-ass. The bass on this album is right in your face. There are tons of great tracks here but Morbid Symmetry has got to be my pick.

Nice review, zombie
Freeze! Step away from the hubris.
21.08.2010 - 05:46
Great Review dude.. It is an epic album
Carve me up, slice me apart
Suck my guts and lick my heart
26.01.2011 - 21:42
Death To Posers
Hate Thy King
Great review.. The albums raw as fuck!

agree 100% about great songwriting compensating technical ability in many cases
The word gen means "illusion" or "apparition." In India, a man who uses conjury is called a genjutsushi ["a master of illusion technique"]. Everything in this world is but a marionette show. Thus we use the word gen.
26.01.2011 - 23:37
Seeker of Truth
I don't get the point about songwriting compensating for technical ability. It sounds as if these dudes can't play their instruments. They are quite proficient.

I am listening to Burn right now, and sure it is enjoyable, but I think the rating is too high. I mean originality: 9? No freaking way.

What is really great about this album is right production and pounding bass.

And just in case, 9 for originality???
Savor what you feel and what you see
Things that may not seem important now
But may be tomorrow

R.I.P. Chuck Schuldiner

Satan was a Backstreet Boy
20.03.2012 - 08:04
( invisible )
Zombie : They surely didn't rush the album, gave it it's time to come out as the masterpiece it is, they remind of Artillery / Exhorder / Kreator / and in some parts early Megadeth. Yes, Burn could be featured in poll against Rust in Piece and would score quite some votes too!..!

Invisible : Havok is quite far from those bands. This is surely a bad comparison and doesn't reflect the truth.
I strongly felt that this was a rush album and it was very much overrated in metal storm. The guitar riffs and vocals section are not matching, I can not find the connections. I suspect they did the riffs and songs separately and join them together later (a lot of bands do that as the members live far from each others, they don't have much time to practice together).

Track 1,3,4,7,9 & 10 are filler tracks ! Wow, half of the album. Only identity theft is really good.

Instrumental skills are proficient, but it can not help elevating the marks of Not So Good song writting. I rate this album 6.25 (an average album). Only fit for primarily metal listeners.

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