American re-thrashers Havok have become more politically inclined on their third studio album. This is clearly evident from the first two tracks of Unnatural Selection having the titles of “I Am The State” and “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death” respectively; although they sound cheesy and cliché, it’s somewhat a refreshing angle for the band, seeing as how its lyrical approach on past albums was not as politically-pronounced.
Lyrics aside, it’s a pity that this record doesn’t live up to the melodiousness of the previous album, Time Is Up. Granted, the songs are infused with explosive energy and will get one into a frenzied rage. Opening track “I Am The State” is one great example, as it’s a straightforward, 4-minutes-long thrash attack. But there are fewer melodic guitar riffs this time round, as most tracks have unvaried and repetitive riffs. Of the ten tracks, only “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death”, “It Is True” and “Waste of Life” feature riffs that register in one’s memory bank. The good news, however, is that all of those repetitive riffs at least lead to fretboard-destroying guitar solos. (What would thrash metal do without ‘em?)
Drummer Pete Webber also gives the band’s music a delightfully prominent percussive edge by beating out creative rhythmic patterns on various tracks such as “I Am The State” (Oh, that drum solo towards the end!), “It Is True”, “Under The Gun” and “Unnatural Selection”. As a bonus, there is even a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Children of the Grave” thrown into the mix. Unnatural Selection may not be Havok’s most entertaining record to date, but it’s not too shabby either. (Dane Prokofiev)
Purchase Unnatural Selection here: http://www.manicmusiconline.com/havok-unnatural-selection.html