Havok - Conformicide album review

Denver thrashers try to grasp the irony of their album title

Cover art for havok's conformicide

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The bio promoting these Denver thrashers’ fourth refers to Conformicide as the band’s “Rust In Peace moment”. This is meant to delineate the record as their masterwork, destined to reign forever in metal’s annals. What goes unmentioned is that the Rust In Peace citation might exist because of how much Havok have taken to sounding like Dave Mustaine and his hired guns.

Falling somewhere between Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying? and Rust In Peace, though amped up on ferocity, Conformicide sees vocalist/guitarist David Sanchez summoning vocal pattern outliers like Wake Up Dead and Sweating Bullets on F.P.C. and Hang ’Em High as lyrical dystopia concerning political/media manipulation, thought control and groupthink are presented with all the nuance of a clawhammer to the eyeball. What elevates this beyond heavy-handed nod status is the barbaric, Kreator-ish style, the expressive guitar shredding and Nick Schendzielos’s bass-playing, which set new standards for rhythmic adventure.