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HavocHate plays a style of that is a solid mixture of traditional thrash and melodic, progressive metal. The band plays with a striking tone that is tighter than a rusty vice on tracks like the melodic and hard hitting “Tentacle”, the ripping paced “Still Alive” and the slam jam title track, “Cycle Of Pain.”
As with many groups, the vocalist determines the bands ultimate stylistic nature and on this record, Tim Bouchee proves himself to be quite capable of a wide range of voices, issuing ear piercing screams, deep growls and a mid range melodic approach that indicates that he is a much rehearsed singer with a strong sense of vocal control. His vocals are at their best on “Speak No More” as he provides a bit of low end vibrato in his growls that can be difficult for many singers to pull off, while opting for soaring chorus sections that have a catchy tone.
If you're looking for precision axework, look no further than this album for the team of Freddy Ordine and Mario Rodriguez are truly dead on players in every aspect. The prime factor in the overall sound of the group is that they play really well together. There's no sloppiness whatsoever throughout the record and although errors can be removed in post-production, you simply cannot fake a good performance. The musicians in HavocHate know their instruments very well and make no bones about it; these guys are focused on tearing things up and manage to do so in fine fashion.
“Alone” gives the listener a taste of the softer side of the band in its introduction before launching into a driving Trouble inspired verse that features a flurry of notes on the six strings. Bassist Greg Christian (Testament) has an obvious impact upon the group’s riffing. On “Buried In Lies” the band bears a resemblance to Christian’s band to a certain degree, but Bouchee’s voice doesn’t have the deep bellow of Chuck Billy for the most part. But it could be said that the vocal phrasing is similar and when combined with the group’s spidery licks and crunchy riffs, it is noticeable.
Ronnie Lipnicki is a very capable thrash drummer who mixes up tempos but holds a steady meter. “Rotting Hour” is an up-tempo thrasher that is hectic and chaotic as Bouchee wails over the group’s relentless attack and on this cut, Lipnicki really hits the mark.
With a severe lack of quality, sure fire thrash in the metal scene these days, “Cycle Of Pain” is a record that will surely have an appeal to fans of Overkill, Anthrax or earlier Testament. HavocHate show a knack for writing exciting, hard driving tunes that are enjoyable and adventurous making this record a thrash metal fan’s delight.