I have always considered Havok as one of the most promising young thrash metal bands. Their two previous releases Burn and Time Is Up were just amazing. Their aggressive, yet distinctive way of playing heavy metal gained them a lot of popularity. Unfortunately, The Point Of No Return dramatically fails to meet the high standard set by the previous LPs.
What we get here is the mixture of two new Havok tracks and two covers of thrash metal classics Slayer's Raining Blood and Sepultura's Arise. Let me start with the presentation of their new material.
The title track is mediocre really, vague, neither aggressive or melodic, not surprising at all, sounding just like a typical 90's thrash release. The next song From The Cradle To The Grave sounds a little bit better, yet it's far from what I would call a perfect thrash metal song. It's far more aggressive, with a memorable main riff, however it's just too predictable and as for my taste a bit too long for a track that should deliver a solid, condense metal attack.
Yet, the tracks that I have just described do not themselves turn this EP into a bad release. It's the covers that make my final verdict so unfavorable. To begin with I am a massive Sepultura fan. It is without any doubts my favorite band, therefore I am very strict and skeptical towards any cover version's of the band's material. For me it must be played perfectly. Unfortunately Havoc does not rise up to the challenge. The first big flaw in this interpretation of Sepultura's classic (Arise) are the vocals. Don't get me wrong. David Sanchez is a good singer, however Havok's cover lacks strong, aggressive and most importantly, low vocals, which essential for each Sepultura song! Furthermore, the guitars are tuned much higher than in the original track, making the cover version sound less heavy, violent and rough. I think the song has lost its soul here.
The rendition of Slayer's anthem Raining Blood is enriched, in its first part, with the cover of yet another classic track delivered by the thrash metal gods, i.e. Postmortem. The combination of these two songs fits together nicely, which makes it far better than Havok's first cover effort (Arise). Still, even tough it's played properly, it can be placed among hundreds of similar Slayer covers. No memorable turn of events here, no distinctive features. It's just one out of many Raining Blood interpretations out there.
To sum up, The Point Of No Return is a really weak release, that will only suit the needs of the most dedicated Havok fans out there. On the basis of their previous EPs I expected something much, much better. The band has already shown that they can compose skilful, creative and powerful thrash metal, thus let just hope that their new EP is just a minor, unfortunate incident on the road of their promising career.