Being and Nothingness

Written by: AB on 25/06/2009 02:40:26

Even though I by now have a pile of extreme metal promos laying by my side waiting for some review-attention, it's been some time since I've done my duties as a scribe. Apart from the usual drunkenness and slackiness (yes, I just made that word up) on my part, this is mainly due to exams, schools and boring stuff like that. However, I am ordered to finish up my share of the albums review before Roskilde Festival kicks in next week, so expect a few reviews on death/black/grind over the next few days.

The quality of the albums I'm going to review here vary greatly, but I'm going to start of with a nice surprise. Even though "Being and Nothingness" (yes, they probably got that from Sartre) is the debut LP from Havok, who are a new death metal acquaintance to me (which often means the band is boring shite), I'm in for a positive surprise. You see, after a superfluous intro, "Being and Nothingness" kick-start with a healthy dose of tech-death with a very organic feel. Think "Serenadium"-era Iniquity, the (sadly now defunct) Danish death metal cult band, and you wouldn't be too far of.

Obviously, as anything that's even slightly associated to Iniquity inevitably should do, Havok most surely impress. We are all treated to some twisting and turning death metal, complete with long atmospheric solos, changing drums with odd time signatures, even the occasional nice bass-slap. The riffs are impressively awesome - just give the aptly titled song "Iniquity" a spin or seven and you'll see what I mean. The pace goes from the sporadic crawl to frenzied grinding and blast beating, which together with the guitars weaving in and out of each other create a very 'flowing' feel to the whole album.

Production is a good 'un too, and apart from the two sucky 'atmospheric', instrumentals (album opener "Avaye Penhan" and "Monologue With The Sky") there are no strictly unnecessary tracks - always a plus. However, while the album is generally very well done, and with some very nice instrument handling to boot, it falls just short of truly rocking my cock. I can't really pin point why Havok doesn't do anything more for me - sounding just a little bit too contrived or calculated, maybe? In any case this is a very solid death metal release, and especially an impressive debut - I hope for great things from Havok in the future!

Download: A Pyrrhic Victory For Humanity, Iniquity, Century of the Deviant
For the fans of: early Iniquity
Listen: Myspace.com

Release Date 24.04.2009
Vicisolum Productions

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