Denver's Havok tours in support of new release

Denver thrash band Havok will play on Saturday at the Top Deck, along with Crowbar and Suicidal Tendencies

Justin Criado, Special to The Daily Times
Touring in support of its new disc "Conformicide," the Denver thrash band Havok performs Saturday night at the Top Deck in Farmington.
  • Havok will play Saturday at the Top Deck as part of Suicidal Tendencies' World Gone Mad tour.
  • The band will release its latest album "Conformicide" next month. Saturday's set list will include four new songs.
  • Before heading to Farmington, Havok finished a weeklong run with Exmortus and Warbringer.
  • The band will next head to Europe, followed by festival season in support of "Conformicide."

UPDATE: A show featuring Havok, Crowbar and Suicidal Tendencies that was planned for Saturday at the Top Deck in Farmington has been canceled, according to a post on the Suicidal Tendencies Facebook page. 

FARMINGTON — The members of the Denver thrash band Havok have a propensity for speaking their minds.

Lead guitarist Reece Scruggs said that's not going to change anytime soon, especially on the band's latest release, "Conformicide," which hits shelves March 10.

Havok is part of a lineup that includes Crowbar and Suicidal Tendencies on Saturday at the Top Deck as part of the latter's World Gone Mad tour. This stop will feature a blend of genres in thrash (Havok), sludge (Crowbar) and crossover (Suicidal Tendencies).

Scruggs said he's "absolutely excited" to be touring with such longstanding acts that helped create and define their respective subgenres.

"It's pretty obvious they're legends," he said. "It's a mixed bag (of genres). It's going to blend really well."

Havok, in typical road dog fashion, has toured with bands from numerous backgrounds, Scruggs said, including both Suicidal Tendencies and Crowbar in years past.

"We know it's going to be a good time," he said.

The quartet has released two singles already in "Hang ‘Em High" and "Ingsoc," and Scruggs said the set list will showcase four new songs in all.

"There’s definitely some meaning behind it," Scruggs said of the new album. "We’re the type of band to write about real-world issues."

"Hang 'Em High" is a punch in the gut to the country’s current political affairs, Scruggs explained, with lines like "Turning their backs on the people that gave them power" and "Disgrace is what they bring to the idea of democracy."

"There’s been a lot of stuff going on in the state of the world or state of our country for quite some time," he said. "There's a lot of material to go off of. It's an easy way for bands to write pissed."

Like thrash forefathers Anthrax and Megadeth, Havok spits venom at the establishment and isn't afraid to call out political figures. While Scruggs said he'd personally like to write songs about "Game of Thrones" and the ilk, being in a band that has something to say has allowed Havok to keep shredding away for nearly 15 years.

"There’s got to be that drive or determination to break through the trend or fad to stick around," he said. "We kind of just do what we like. We're trying to make the best possible Havok record for Havok fans."

Coming of age in the Re-Thrash wave of the early 2000s, Havok kept its head down and plugged forward, Scruggs said, even when many similar bands faltered and fell by the wayside.

"The fact that we get to stand on top of this pile of corpses that can’t be found is a testament to our longevity," said Scruggs, who officially joined the lineup in 2010.

The stereotypical thrasher theme of pizza and parties played itself out pretty quickly, Scruggs said, and a handful of bands with quality musicianship and some substance came to define that particular metal movement. But that’s not enough for Havok.

"We want to be so much more than this,” Scruggs said of the band's place in the genre. "(The music) is undoubtedly thrash and straightforward metal. Just straightforward, heavy, fast … tunes."

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Havok was finishing a weeklong run with Exmortus and Warbringer before embarking on the World Gone Mad leg. After that, it's Europe, followed by festival season in support of "Conformicide."

"It’s like the birth of my child," Scruggs said of the upcoming album release. "We all had so much to do with this release."

If you go

What: Havok, Crowbar and Suicidal Tendencies

When: Doors open at 7 p.m., music starts at 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Top Deck, 515 E. Main St. in Farmington

Tickets: $30 at