Story By Jacob Romu, Photos By Scott Hobbs

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On June 22, Havoc and Wretched played Crocks as part of their Unnatural Selection tour. Local openers were thrash/death favourites Slave State and Railgun.

North Carolina-based Wretched are an incredibly fast and technical band, borrowing from thrash metal and deathgrind. Most of the recent revival in thrash metal has focused on party music, but Wretched aim for brutality. Their lead single “Cranial Infestation,” from their album Cannibal (2014), was one of the heaviest songs I’ve seen live.

Colorado-based Havoc take a more traditional approach to thrash metal.Their first four songs were not as punishing as Wretched, but the title track for their album Unnatural Selection (2013) was really meaty. The last half of the set was light-speed.Reece Scruggs, lead guitar, was a shred machine. His solos both hearkened back to the golden age of thrash metal and demonstrated innovation and creativity.

It was nice to see both bands’ lead singers espouse positivity and friendliness. The metal community is at its heart a welcoming, warm place, and it is nice to be reminded of that every few shows.