With Burn, Denver thrash metal outfit Havok (not to be confused with the Swedish death metallers of the same name) have released a blistering twelve track album (ok - 11 and one of them daft instrumental intros) that reeks of Slayer, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Exodus amongst others, but that doesn’t quite have an identity of its own.
There’s no faulting the musicianship, the power, the production or the guitar work but there’s also nothing outstanding here either. What you get is a good solid workout, some great fret work from the Sanchez boys, a powerhouse drummer in Scotti Fuller [Ed: actually, the drummer is Ryan Bloom on this release] but at no stage does your jaw drop, at no stage do you go “Wow!” They have succeeded in taking thrash metal forward and giving it a stronger, modern feel but that ain’t enough when you’re competing with other young lions like Savage Messiah, Municipal Waste or Ramming Speed.
Don’t get me wrong, there is some mighty fine work on display here. Root Of Evil, The Disease, Melting The Mountain – great songs, strong and powerful and hard but it soon wears thin, there just isn’t enough there.
Live they probably kill, but on this recording they just don’t quite cut it. A promising band sure but still with a way to go.
Havok's Burn is out now on Candlelight/Earsplit.