Label: Heaven and Hell Records
Well that label Heaven and Hell Records are at it again. Digging up old and lost metal from the glorious 80’s. This time the band is Havoc and their album ‘Back for the Kill’ As with the band Xcalibur, the cover of ‘Back for the Kill’ leads one to think the music is going to be one thing while in reality it most certainly is not. This isn’t to say the music is bad but when I see a cover that depicts some kind of metallic, mech monstrosity from Warhammer 40k getting ready to kill some stupid woman that stands in its way…I don’t think I will be hearing songs about relationships or lost love.
So basically with Havoc you have a band that kind of typifies the bands rolling around the scene in the late 80’s. Think something along the lines of Babylon A.D., Kix or a number of other bands you might hear in an 80’s horror or action movie. Not really a glam band but not a straight metal band either.
That being said ‘Back for the Kill’ is actually a really great 80’s ‘metal’ album. The songs, while typical of the time in many cases are well written and catchy. The guitar riffs and crunch is what lifts Havoc above the other bands that would typically come off as bit too soft. While lyrically the subject matter of the songs fits a bit into the pop/glam arena, the music itself is harder and brasher than that. The band isn’t Megedeth or Slayer but they are definitely heavier sounding than Poison or Enuff Z’Nuff, and thank God for that. I would have punctured my ear drums with a pencil if there was a cover of Fly High Michelle on here.
While not a thrash band like their cover portrays, the band do throw in some pretty killer metal tunes here and there. The title track ‘Back for the Kill’ being the prime example. So the ‘true’ metal heads can have something to sink their teeth into.
Heaven and Hell Records did a great job on re-mastering ‘Back for the Kill’ as well. The album sounds for the most part like a truly professional recording. Most bands from the 80’s would have sold their mothers to a Tijuana donkey sex show for the chance to sound like this on a debut album. So my hats off to a great re-master as well.
Overall, ‘Back for the Kill’ is a very solid 80’s mainstream metal album. Not a thrash album…not a pure metal album but not a pop album either but one that is on the verge of both but still is able to maintain the ability to write good songs that a metal fan in general could enjoy listening to.