Havok – V (Century Media)

More than a decade into an ear-shattering career and Havok means business.

This is V for victory.

A for effort.

And old school thrash with a capital T.

Remember the first time you heard Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?.

Or that moment Death Angel dropped Act III.

It might have been Exodus’s Fabulous Disaster that did it for you.

Well Havok’s fifth long player is in the same bone-crunching bracket.

V is a career-defining opus capturing heavy music at its most adept.

And it propels the Denver crew into modern metal’s big leagues.

Frontman David Sanchez is in deliciously dangerous form.

He rages through brutal neck breakers including Interface With The Infinite and the furious Fear Campaign.

And Sanchez steers an unforgiving course through biting opener Post-Truth Era.

Slotting the sub three-minute Merchants Of Death in between V’s most epic tracks is inspired.

A short, sharp shock of shiny metal perfectly separates the aces in this record’s stacked pack.

Panpsychism (shit title, terrific tune) is pure brilliance.

And all eight minutes of colossal set closer Don’t Do It make you glad that Havok did.

V follows hot on the heels of Testament’s flawless Titans Of Creation.

And it comes just weeks after Kreator’s London Apocalypticon rewrote the live thrash metal handbook.

Sanchez and co. might not be able to better their lofty and legendary peers…just yet.

But in 2020 there’s the Havoks and the have nots.

Believe it.