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Havok - Point of No Return Review

by Matt Hensch

I enjoy the passion and electricity of "Time is Up," but this is a little unnecessary. "Point of No Return" is a short EP released just over a year after Havok put out the aforementioned full-length album that was a blast of fresh air compared to a lot of thrash bands that mindlessly retrace Exodus and Slayer because Exodus and Slayer are Exodus and Slayer. Havok is guilty too, but they at least have the riffs and girth to justify their love for metal's finest, and they've shown most of their thrashing counterparts the door. However, the two originals here aren't fitting or remarkably devastating like the crunching "Time is Up," and I'm not fond of the lifeless remakes of Sepultura's "Arise" and a pair of Slayer classics including "Postmortem" and "Raining Blood" either. Running at just over twenty minutes, one has to question whether or not "Point of No Return" can reasonably justify its existence in the first place.

"Point of No Return" picks up right where "Time is Up" left off, and the group wastes no time hurling a savage offering that earned itself the title of the release. It's a good song, nothing incredibly smart or powerful. I mean, you got riffs, solos, shouts, aggression, Satan, hate, doom, death...what else do you need? Sadly, I will say the title track is probably weaker than most of "Time is Up." Why? It's just a thrash number, a little on the lackadaisical side of the spectrum. On the contrary, "Cradle to the Grave" is pretty damn awesome. The main riff is acceptable, but the tune shines because of Pete Webber's gnawing percussion, and we even get to see the vocal skills of David Sanchez; turns out he can do more than ravenously shout into a microphone. It tends to drag on a bit, but it's easily the peak of this EP and definitely a catchy, sadistic thrasher clearly penned by the madness of Havok.

Havok's covers of "Arise," "Postmortem," and "Raining Blood" are pretty much covers of "Arise," "Postmortem," and "Raining Blood." Yea, a little anticlimactic, isn't it? The triangle of tunes are exactly replicated here with very little original input from Havok at all, and it really makes me ponder again about this release. If I want to hear "Arise," I'll listen to "Arise." Same goes for Slayer. But hey, if you want good fun, you'll find it here; Havok knows how to drop an assload of energy and power at a moment's notice, so if you're looking for some headbanging mayhem, you'll find it. However, I need something more, and it's no secret that Havok has the brains and brawn to truly create something original and remarkable from something totally out of the blue. Nothing of an important caliber show itself though, and the lacking cleverness is definitely present.

The original tracks are good, but not fantastic, and I've already voiced my displeasure regarding the covers, so it's somewhat obvious that "Point of No Return" gets no warm welcome on my end. In conclusion, it's just an EP providing a glimpse of Havok, but nothing incredibly special or riveting, just Havok being Havok. It would be a truly impressive feat if Havok successfully covered a non-metal band and smothered the tune with their own unique tints of thrashing butchery, but that still does not represent the circumstances of "Point of No Return." Any thrash band can sleepwalk through a Slayer cover. Any thrash band can sleepwalk through a Sepultura cover. Any thrash band can mirror and replicate a release like "Point of No Return" with little trouble, and that's why I'll stick to "Time is Up" instead of this semi-useless EP.

Havok - Point of No Return


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