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Havok - "The Point Of No Return" (CD/EP)

Havok - "The Point Of No Return" CD/EP cover image

"The Point Of No Return" track listing:

1. Point Of No Return
2. Cradle To The Grave
3. Arise
4. Postmortem/Raining Blood

Reviewed by on April 24, 2012

"Havok's new EP, 'The Point Of No Return' is a 50/50 proposition — it's 50 percent excellent original tunes and 50 percent heartfelt covers."

Havok's new EP, "The Point Of No Return" is a 50/50 proposition — it's 50 percent excellent original tunes and 50 percent heartfelt covers. That's a pretty decent equation, though it must be said that the two original tunes have a spark to them that the covers — as good as they are — just can't match.

The thing that has separated Denver-based Havok from the rest of the neo-thrash crowd is the band's emphasis on rhythm, giving bassist Jesse de los Santos and drummer Pete Webber plenty of room on the excellent 2011 full-length album "Time Is Up." That continues here, with the opening track, "Point Of No Return" giving de los Santos especially a chance to shine.

Guitarists David Sanchez and Reece Scruggs acquit themselves well, with a solo break on "Point Of No Return" that brings Metallica's Kirk Hammett's early ax-work to mind.

"Cradle To The Grave" is Webber's showcase, with an opening drum salvo that sets things up perfectly, as well as some excellent fills. "Cradle" also features an excellent slower instrumental break that perfectly transitions into a speedier section that almost brings Iron Maiden to mind.

The weakest track on the album is the cover of recent tour-mates Sepultura's "Arise," which feels slightly one-dimensional compared with all of the other tracks. On the other hand, the cover of Slayer's "Postmortem/Raining Blood" adds something new to the track, with de los Santos' bass adding additional heft, especially to the first half.

Would I have preferred "The Point Of No Return" to be full of Havok originals? You bet. That said, the two original tracks on this EP are up there with the best material the band has produced, and the covers are heartfelt and well-performed. Thrash fans will delight in this offering.

Highs: The two originals, "Point Of No Return" and "Cradle To The Grave"

Lows: The Sepultura cover, "Arise," is a little one-dimensional.

Bottom line: An excellent thrash EP that will leave you hungering for the next full-length Havok album.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)