Havoc Unit
h.IV+ (Hoarse Industrial Viremia)

After officially declaring …And Oceans dead with the transitional ..And Oceans/Havoc Unit/Sin Decay split, here is official full length debut from Havoc Unit, the newer and nastier incarnation of …And Oceans.

While most will more than likely remember the last two …And Oceans offerings, AMGOD and Cypher as water down techno laced black metal, it would not be fair to carry those preconceptions over to the aptly titled h:IV+, as it is an altogether different beast. Though still full of programming, samples and many buzzing whirring industrialized influences, it’s a far more caustic and rusty than anything they did under the ..And Oceans moniker.

More in line with the likes of V:28, DHG, Control Human Delete and PHOBOS rather than true cyber metal or the more extreme electronic based likes of Spektr or Zweizz, Havoc Unit is somewhere in between the three with a maniacal, mechanical and methodical delivery of spitefully industrial blackened metal.

Rather than the simple pace and chunk of most industrial of most cyber tinged metal, Havoc Unit is angular and discordant. It’s like standing on the floor of a vast factory plant-there’s a certain beat you can ascertain after a while but initially it’s a calamitous mix of clunking, creaking, crashing, and buzzing. Then throw in some guitars and venomous, robotic rasps and see what it sounds like.

Tracks like lumbering opener “Vermicide”, scattershot assault of “I.Esus”, steady clunking “When Snugg Is No Longer Enough” and truly disturbing duo of “Gen.Eration Gen.Ocide” and “Viremia” make for an attention getting, ear shredding cacophony of abrasive, industrialized, programming filled chaos, but after that, it starts to get a bit repetitive and the pummelling, beeping dissonance gets a bit old. The riffs never really rise above the programming and the whole vitriol of the sound starts to wear off without the benefit of memorable riffs. Plus, the only real respite in the whole 54 minutes is the instrumental “Kristallnacht”.

To their credit the overall sick gloss of the production, programming and vocals are a pretty twisted vision of the genre making for a palpably icky overall atmosphere, but song wise, things are a bit to be desired, which is a bit of a disappointment as the group has had two years to get this makeover complete. Only an appearance from Solefald’s Lazare on “Ignoratio Elenchi” makes the album’s later stages worth re-visiting unless you really want to be heavily medicated to stop mechanical psychosis setting in.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Erik T
January 7th, 2008

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