Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
V or Five Is a Musically Mature Release from Havok
V or five is the 5th studio album by American thrash metal band and V is the Roman numeral for five. The album’s title is simple and it was released on May 1, 2020 by Century Media Records and since I am a fan of this retro-thrash metal band I knew there had to be a review of the album. “Post-Truth Era” is the song that begins this album and the first section is a highly creative and melodic part by these guys from Colorado. How good are these guys 16 years after forming you might ask? Well, they have certainly matured now including an instrumental song, something they would not have done in the early 2010s for instance.
Analysis of the Song Fear Campaign
“Fear Campaign” really takes the speed up a notch as the lead guitars kick in. The song is about not believing what the mainstream media says as the song is trying to say that the media is engaging in misinformation and fear mongering. Therefore, we have to be cautious about what information we choose to take in as consumers of the news. Havok has been a better US thrash band than many including Hexen.
"Merchants of Death"
David Sanchez Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Why Is Havok The Best US Thrash Metal Band Right Now?
Listening to the album V and Havok in general reminds me that thrash metal certainly isn’t dead in the United States by any means as Havok joins the band Warbringer as two of the best newer thrash metal bands to come from the United States. This album is what one person on the website Metal Archives classified as a sort of retro thrash metal. Merriam Webster defines the word retro as relating to, reviving or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past. Well, this certainly isn’t a Metallica or a Slayer clone but an example of how modernized thrash metal has become and this modernization bodes very well for the genre in the 2030s and even beyond. Havok has established the kind of consistency that fans of melodic thrash metal should enjoy. The vocals are raspy yet very understandable. You can even hear the anger and rage in the vocals but these guys are a group of guys that enjoy what they do and you can even hear it in the music. If Metallica is still the greatest US heavy metal band, then Havok is the best modern US thrash metal band there is now. That is a very bold statement but these guys have taken the thrash metal music and infused tons of melody while having lyrics that are very socially conscious. The only thing that these guys have not done yet are full ballad style songs bur even that may happen in the future or not.
Final Thoughts About the Album V
“Dab Tsog” is a short instrumental song that does not really belong on an album such as this and it may be the only weak point. Havok really hasn’t changed their sound all that much and they have just expanded their thrash metal roots to include songs dominated by impressive bass lines such as in the song “Panpsychism.” There is also a contributing vocal part that makes it sound a tad bit progressive. Five albums into their career, Havok is as musically strong as ever maybe since at least 2011. “Don’t Do It” is the last song of this album that has a progressive touch and feel of how Slayer would have been only the riffing is more mid-tempo. It is no wonder why the bass lines are better on this album than the previous albums of Havok. Bassist Brandon Bruce who joined the band for this album shows his artistry and skill.
Rating of the album V as of late 2020: 98 points out of 100 for a solid A grade
© 2020 Ara Vahanian