Quite a number of …And Oceans fans were baffled by the group’s sudden moniker change after a decade of successful cacophony. With such an underground legacy under their belts, why risk it all just for a new name? As weird as it sounds, the newly-found Havoc Unit did the dramatic adjustment to show a new essence in their mechanical assault, and acting like something totally different built a tough network of zapping industrial metal. Several splits have presented small doses of Havoc Unit’s revolutionary march, yet their long-awaited debut entitled hIV.+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia) introduces a warhead of nuking corruption. This CD is kind of like a cool Ministry/Autopsy combination with spicy representations of both death metal and piping industrial perks; it’s perfectly balanced between brutality and experimentation.
On a musical base, Havoc Unit’s performance is widely diversified by multiple arrangements in which a variety of influences are portrayed. For instance, the seeds are planted in soil that’s smothered in fast, technical riffs and blastbeats; however, precipitation leads to other qualities, like atmospheric flowers, ambient sprouts, and groove weeds. Now a lot of you might shutter upon hearing about these touches that were previously unknown to this band, but it’s actually done very well, and the result is absolute chaos. Vocally, typical death metal growls are used from start to finish, but with a twist: industrial distortion! How else would an industrial metal tribe function properly without adding a computerized twist to the vocals? And yes, it’s a fantastic factor to this bizarre album.
While the heaviness is clearly a given, applications of electronic propaganda are nicely discharged onto Havoc Unit’s evolutionary pressings without tainting the squad’s harsh fierce raid on humanity. Throughout every waking moment of this record, samples of varied origins and identities glide over the exploding atmosphere like a storm of ash after an eruption. Hazy and consuming, light amounts of static, The Berzerker-like techno vibes, news reporting audio, and other loopy sounds penetrate the musical barrier atypically. The thing is, however, that these industrial motions are layered under the music itself; this leads to a thin shield of futuristic touches that doesn’t disrupt the death metal flow. An intelligent addition to such a unique release makes the digital copy so much better; don’t expect anything less than voltaic mastery from Finland’s finest electricians.
Havoc Unit’s full-length debut consistently delivers the appropriate mixture of trippy tinges and hard-hitting heaviness into one grand oddball of perplexing proportions. Change is considered somewhat taboo in metal, yet this Finish group once again proves you can’t have purity without a playbook focusing on alteration. To digest this release, one must realize the identity of …And Oceans is gone like yesterday’s garbage; this band has been reborn in so many ways, and you can really see the total audio shift in a very positive manner. If you haven’t picked up one of the many Havoc Unit splits or crave weird music, be sure to hunt down hIV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia) and its technological insanity.