Originally reviewed here.
Havok is yet another retro-thrash metal band. They are often overlooked in the mountain of similar bands that have popped up over the years, but that is a little unfair. Havok has a way of showing off their influences but still making music that sounds fresh and vital. Unlike a lot of the retro thrash metal groups, Havok has not picked one particular style of thrash to try to emulate. Influences from the Bay Area, East Coast, Germany, South America, and the almighty Slayer can all be heard. As such, they are one of the more interesting retro thrash metal bands and one that I try to check out whenever they release something new.
Coming off a well-received full-length, Havok offers this short EP as a holdover until they can get a new full-length onto shelves. The EP features two original songs and two covers. The originals do a fantastic job of showcasing what Havok is all about. The opening title track is fast and furious with a throbbing bass line propelling the song forward. It has an almost Overkill-esque quality with its menacing sneer and use of gang vocals. "Cradle to the Grave" features the kind of frenetic energy that Anthrax was well-known for along with more use of gang vocals.
The final two tracks are covers of major influences on the band, Sepultura and Slayer. Both songs have been covered frequently so there may be some temptation to write them off and skip them. Havok does a nice job with them though. They capture the anger of "Arise" by Sepultura almost perfectly. The complaint that I have about "Postmortem/Raining Blood" is that it is kind of silly to combine them into one track. "Raining Blood" has always been a standalone classic in the genre. To combine it into one track with "Postmortem" is kind of a slap in the face.
Overall this is hardly a necessary release. It is a nice showcase of an impressive band, but an EP is almost never a can't-miss release. This is the case here as well.