POINT OF NO RETURN
The single hardest working new thrash band in the world has returned with a quick four song EP that is designed to do one thing and one thing only - give them a reason to stay on tour! Mission Accomplished.
Since this is a four song EP, there's not a ton to write about. POINT OF NO RETURN featured two new songs and two covers. Starting with the new material, this stuff has to be material that didn't make TIME IS UP. I have no idea why.
These two songs, "Point Of No Return" and "Cradle To The Grave" flat out smoke. "Point Of No Return" is a brilliant song; arguably the best the band has put forth to date. Lead guitarist Reece Scruggs and rhythm player (and lead vocalist) David "Dirty" Sanchez absolutely destroy on this song. They are equally vicious on "Cradle To The Grave", although the bass line provided by Jesse De Los Santos drives that tune. Vocally, Sanchez has developed into more of a Mark Osegueda (Death Angel) clone. His vocals through this and TIME IS UP remind me a lot of Death Angel's last two or three releases where there's been more screaming and less clean singing.
As for the covers, you have to give Havok a lot of credit. It takes balls the size of overgrown watermelons to take on classics by Sepultura and Slayer. Especially with Slayer, you could really hurt your career if you do a bad job. Not to worry though, Havok drives it home here. While their cover of Sepultura's "Arise" starts out a bit flat (translation, less dynamic than the original), they quickly find their way and do justice to the signature song from Brazil's best export. As for the Slayer cover, they more than adequately thrash hard and fast through a blistering cover of "Postmortem/Raining Blood". Yep...they went after Slayer's biggest "hit" and absolutely nail it.
PITRIFF RATING - 94/100 - There's no one more happy than me that old school, Bay Area sounding Thrash has a whole new collection of bands carrying the torch. There's a lot of great bands out there now making this kind of music - Lazarus AD, Warbringer, Municipal Waste...and of course Havok. Of the new age Big 4, I'd put Havok as the headliner. This EP just makes me long for another new release. Killer, killer stuff!