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A Review of "Time Is Up" by Thrash Metal Band Havok

Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Havoc, Time Is Up, 2011

Havoc, Time Is Up, 2011

Personnel

  • David Sanchez: vocals, guitar
  • Jesse De Los Santos: bass
  • Reece Scruggs: guitar
  • Pete Webber: drums

Tracklist

  1. "Prepare for Attack"
  2. "Fatal Intervention"
  3. "No Amnesty"
  4. "D.O.A."
  5. "Covering Fire"
  6. "Killing Tendencies"
  7. "Scumbag in Disguise"
  8. "The Cleric"
  9. "Out of My Way"
  10. "Time Is Up"

Time Is Up: Thrash Metal Gem

Havok is a thrash metal band from Denver, Colorado. When I discovered this band I was very impressed with their riffs and melodies on their second full-length album, Time Is Up (released in 2011).

You may think there are no good American heavy metal bands in the modern era (after the early 2000s), but this is decidedly not the case. Havok shows that they can clearly compete with other bands. The lyrical themes on Time Is Up focuses on the various politics and social issues.

Who are the people that play on this impressive thrash metal album?

"Prepare for Attack"

The opening fast song "Prepare for Attack" is about a population that is so fed up with its fascist dictator that they are willing to rise up and take him down at any cost. They are trying to let others know that they won’t be taking any kind of nonsense from other countries.

In a show of strength, it is just a matter of time before the population that is oppressed will “stomp out the infection” and “prevent the disease.” This song has the Metallica influence because if you listen carefully, there is a section of the song that sounds like the famous song "Motorbreath." Time Is Up has the thrash metal sound but with a more modern influence.

"D.O.A."

The song "D.O.A." starts with a superb melodic part that I have not really heard from a US based metal band in a long time! The song is about the dangers of getting behind the wheel and driving too fast. There are too many deaths in the US due to automobile accidents and I think that the band brings up the subject to raise awareness. If you drive too fast, you put so many other people’s lives at risk. For those of you that drive, please be careful out there.

Vocalist and guitarist David Sanchez lets out a Tom Araya-like scream in this song as the band chants “death on arrival.”

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"Fatal Intervention"

The next song, "Fatal Intervention," continues with more speed and melody. This song is about a society that has gone crazy and lost its mind as there is violence that is raging throughout the land. Jeff Waters of the band Annihilator would be very impressed with the creative melodies and technicality that is present on this album.

Other Tracks

Let's take a look at the songs on the rest of the album.

"Covering Fire"

This song is about a person that makes a living as a professional assassin. Whether this is by coincidence or not, the band Iron Maiden had a song called "Assassin" back in 1990 on their album No Prayer for the Dying.

"Killing Tendencies"

The song "Killing Tendencies" is slower in the beginning but it is still a very catchy song The song is basically about the fact that if you make the wrong choices in life, you will lead a dangerous life wherever you go. Some people in this world don’t really care if they live or die and they lead a path to their own self-destruction.

"Scumbag in Disguise"

This song is about standing up to someone who criticizes others and puts them down in order to make himself or herself feel better. Some people have opinions that are absurd in the eyes of others.

"Time Is Up"

The title track is about someone who is about to be sentenced for their crime as their time to appeal is nearing its end.

"The Cleric"

This song attacks religion. It is a matter of time until those really religious clerics take power and money for themselves while the poor people of the country are left out in the cold with no one to care for them.

This sort of thing is a very common occurrence in many nations of the Middle East as the rise of autocratic regimes has led to the lowering of the quality of life for the population of those countries.

The beginning of the song has a riff that kind of sounds like Pantera’s song "Live in a Hole." I hear some melody later in the song that the late Chuck Schuldiner would have used in the songs that he wrote.

The Verdict

Overall, Time Is Up is an outstanding melodic thrash metal release. There are more good bands in the US other than Metallica, Slayer, and Testament. I’m really glad I gave these guys a chance and metal fans around the world should as well. The strongest songs in the album are "Prepare for Attack," "Fatal Intervention," "D.O.A.," "The Cleric," and the title track—but every single song is pretty good!

© 2016 Ara Vahanian

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