Havok

Burn

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The impact that thrash metal/speed metal had on metal's evolution back in the 1980s cannot be overstated. Thrash was the first time that metal was influenced by punk in a big way -- if hardcore brought metal into punk, thrash brought punk into metal -- and so much of the death metal, black metal, alternative metal, and rap-metal of the '90s and 2000s owes thrash a major debt of gratitude. So given thrash's importance, it isn't surprising that the mid- to late 2000s saw a thrash revival in both Europe and North America. One of the U.S.' 21st century thrash revival bands is the Denver-based Havok, whose Burn came out in 2009 but sounds like it could have been recorded 20 or 22 years earlier. Stylistically, Burn is consistently mindful of the '80s, drawing on influences like Megadeth, Slayer, Exodus, and early Testament; Havok aren't as harsh as Slayer can be, but they still rock aggressively hard on lightning-fast tracks such as "The Disease," "Afterburner," "Category of the Dead," and "Path to Nowhere." Burn recalls an era in which punk was seriously influencing metal for the first time and thrash was making metal safe for the moshpit. This CD doesn't pretend to point thrash in any new directions; none of the tunes are the least bit groundbreaking, and anyone who has been listening to thrash for a long time has heard it all before. But if power metal can have an abundance of revival bands that are intent on emulating 1980s recordings, there is no reason why thrash metal shouldn't have them as well. Although not remarkable, Burn is a decent, if derivative, contribution to the thrash metal/speed metal revival movement.

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