U.S. thrashers HAVOK will release their new album, "Conformicide", on March 10 via Century Media Records.
A lyric video for the song "Hang 'Em High" — created by Cloud Music Typography — can be seen below.
Speaking about the message behind "Hang 'Em High" and the accompanying lyric video, HAVOK guitarist/vocalist David Sanchez said: "In our current political atmosphere, corruption runs deep. This is our response. It's time to wake up."
In addition to "Conformicide" being released on CD, digital and streaming platforms, the album will also be available in an array of limited-edition vinyl colors.
"Conformicide" track listing:
02. Hang 'Em High
04. Intention To Deceive
07. Peace Is In Pieces
08. Claiming Certainty
09. Wake Up
10. Circling The Drain
Bonus tracks (special-edition CD):
11. String Break
Bonus tracks (gatefold 2LP + CD):
11. String Break
13. Claiming Certainty (Live)
"'Conformicide' is faster and way angrier than [2013's] 'Unnatural Selection'," says Sanchez. "On this album, the music is very layered and dynamic and the lyrics say a lot about the current state of the world."
Faster, angrier, and burlier, "Conformicide" benefited significantly from more collaborative writing sessions, where guitarist Reece Scruggs, drummer Pete Webber and newcomer bassist Nick Schendzielos (JOB FOR A COWBOY, CEPHALIC CARNAGE) were instrumental in pushing Sanchez's violent-yet-quick-witted songs over the proverbial edge. The result is a set of tunes that fume, spit, and storm high-end, pit-slaying thrash.
"To us, a song is a collection of music that will get stuck in your head," Sanchez says. "Where every musician gets to shine, and dynamics are utilized to add peaks and valleys to the music — to take the listener on a musical roller coaster ride. After that musical foundation is there, we like to throw meaningful, thought-provoking lyrics on the top of the riff mountain and that’s where the songwriting process usually starts... With the almighty riff — the lifeblood of a good metal song. We slap a couple riffs together, then put drums and bass to it, then begin experimenting with guitar harmonies and different lines that the second guitar can play. Vocal rhythms and melodies are usually the last things to be solidified."
HAVOK replaced former bassist Mike Leon with the finger-flying Schendzielos in 2015. The change, as Sanchez puts it, was necessary for HAVOK to continue to steamroll the competition. The addition of Schendzielos is immediately noticeable on "Conformicide". The five-stringer from Evergreen, Colorado blows minds throughout.
"Nick brings a fresh approach to the songwriting process," says Sanchez. "And he lends a different perspective on the bass lines in our music. He's a fantastic bass player and fun to watch on stage. Nick's positive attitude, stellar musicianship, and passion for performing are huge assets to HAVOK. We're all stoked to have him with us."
Produced, engineered, and mixed by Steve Evetts (SEPULTURA, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, M.O.D., WARBRINGER) at his studio in Garden Grove, California, "Conformicide" sounds massive and angry yet crisp and intense. It's the kind of production most bands of HAVOK's origin dream of.
"Steve did a killer job with the natural sound of the drums and accurately portrayed our live guitar tones and overall sound," grins Sanchez. "We're stoked on the sonic quality of the record and think it's our best-sounding album so far."
HAVOK is preparing to embark on its first headlining tour of the year in North America as part of the build up to "Conformicide". Immediately following this run, the band will join on as part of the "World Gone Mad" tour, supporting the legendary likes of SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and CROWBAR, before heading out to Europe for a headlining run together with WARBRINGER, GOROD and EXMORTUS in April.