Havok : The Point Of No Return

Guest post by ChrisAxe from the awesome Dawn Of The Deaf website. Read and enjoy šŸ™‚

Its been just over 12 months since I virtually wet myself with excitement whilst reviewing Havok’s Time Is Up over on Cack Blabbath. So it was with some trepidation, and a pack of Tena Men, that I approached listening to their new EP, The Point Of No Return.

This latest release is a 50/50 split of two new tracks and two cover versions. Given the weight of the cover versions, ‘Arise’ and ‘Post Mortem’/ ‘Raining Blood’, I automatically skipped the new material to get these into my ears without delay. Both tracks are commendably performed and, bar some fancy footwork during PM/RB, remain extremely true to the original. Note perfect, each track lovingly recreated in much the same was as restoring a fine painting, but, impressive as they are, I can’t help wanting to listen to the originals instead.

Now at the end of the EP, it was time for me go back to the beginning and see how the new tracks held up. Judging from the reviews I’ve read, I think I may well be on my own here, but even after several repeat listens I feel underwhelmed. Both new tracks make all the right noises but there’s just something missing. ‘Point Of No Return’ starts off with a promising Slayer-esque riff which gradually builds, first the bass, then guitar, ooh, this is getting better, the next guitar then kicks in and I’m ready for the drums to go apeshit. Oh, they don’t. It feels reserved and lacking in any real punch. ‘From The Cradle To The Grave’ steps up next and sounds like it could have easily appeared on Time Is Up. And that’s probably my biggest qualm; there seems to be very little growth in sound.

So 12 months have passed since Time Is Up and thankfully my pants have dried out. Sadly it would seem that the spark from Havok has too. It is by no means a bad EP but in the light of forthcoming releases from Kreator and Bonded By Blood this just feels underpowered. I think the inclusion of the cover versions, whilst fun, shows just how good these classics are, and how they stand the test of time. It also highlights the weakness in the new material. Havok are capable of way better than this.