The Student News Site of Thunderbird High School

The Challenge

The Challenge

The Challenge

Navagon and the Valley’s Thrash Metal Revival

Photo courtesy of Instagram

Local thrash outfit Navagon have just released their new album Prepare To Meet Thy God on January 12. This is Navagon’s first full-length album and a big hit in the Arizona thrash metal scene.

Along with bands like Vipera, Dogyard, and Mourning High, Navagon has played a big part in creating what seems to be a thrash revival in the valley. Navagon formed in 2020 and has since released 2 singles, an EP, and one full-length album. They’ve been playing shows around the Phoenix area, melting faces everywhere they go. Prepare To Meet Thy God is a great mixture of something new and something familiar, with fast and heavy riffs, explosive drums, and crushing vocals reminiscent of an act from the mid-80s with new twists.

I spoke to Navagon’s drummer Logan Burke to dig deeper into the band as well as Arizona’s thrash metal scene as a whole.


What bands inspire your guys’ sound and what made you decide on thrash metal?

“It’s something we’ve always had a love for. Obviously, early Metallica was a huge influence and still is. Creeping Death is pretty much a staple in our setlists. Other bands like Sodom, Testament, Pantera, Violence, Exodus, and Demolition Hammer are influences in our writing and playing as well. We like being loud, fast, and heavy, so thrash metal was perfect for us.”


What was the vision when you guys started to make music? Were you looking to start or be part of a thrash revival?

“The vision was just having fun. I mean it started like any other high school band. The guitar player knew a bass player and another guitar player, who knew a drummer. After jamming for a bit we realized it was more than just a fun hobby and started committing to it more and more. We’d love to be part of the Thrash Revival. Hopefully Prepare To Meet Thy God is a good start. I always knew I wanted to make music for a living. I did ALL of the opportunities in high school as far as playing drums and percussion. I started in a hair metal cover band that I left as soon as Navagon picked up and couldn’t be happier with what’s going on and where we’re headed.”


What does the writing process look like for you guys?

“It kinda depends from song to song, but it’s been a lot of coming to a rehearsal or writing session with big ideas and working together to string them together and flesh them out. It’s been everything from ‘I’ve got this completed idea. Let’s go through and tweak/finalize it.’ to ‘I’ve got this riff that’s kinda cool. Let’s write it down and save it for later.’ It can take anywhere from 2 hours to 2 years to complete a song. I’ve also got a file on the studio computer that’s just a whole bunch of various unused riffs that are waiting to see the light of day. We also do a healthy amount of just recording riffs and ideas through our phones and sending them into the group chat for approval or ideas for revisions.”


What’s the thrash scene like in Arizona as a band and as a fan?

“As a band, it’s hit or miss sometimes. It all depends on the venue and the night. We’ve been lucky enough to please just enough of the punk crowd to play shows with them, and just enough of the death metal bands to play shows with them. We’re also lucky enough to be homies with the boys in Drown The Planet and are the only other band to play at every single Rock The Desert Festival, which is cool. Probably one of my favorite shows that we’ve played was at one of Perry High School’s Homecoming Festival. They set up a stage, we audition as an act to perform, and for some reason they let us in. We cranked as loud as we could go and played Magic Dragon by Sodom, Creeping Death by Metallica, and Death’s Door [one of our originals] in front of my entire high school. 

As fans, We’re lucky enough to live in Phoenix and every band’s reunion tour or modern thrash tour has come here at places like the Nile and the Van Buren. We’ve seen Carcass, Havok, Sepultura, Toxic Holocaust, and a whole lot more. The local bands are also doing some pretty cool things. Vertigo is pretty chill, they’ve got a killer EP. Lethal Mutilation’s single is fire, I hear those Vipera guys are pretty cool too (go stream Thrash Isn’t Dead) and of course… you can’t talk about heavy metal in Arizona without talking about Intent, absolutely some of the best and most original modern thrash metal.”


Finally, what are your guys’ plans going forward?

“Currently, unfortunately, our frontman, Eyan, is at basic training for his position in the Air Force National Guard, so we’re taking a small hiatus from live shows. HOWEVER, the content isn’t gonna end. We’ve been doing some cooking in the studio and you’ll see a single release in about late April/early May, and then another in Mid-August time. The rest of us, in his absence, are gonna spend a lot of time together writing and working on new material so that when he gets back, we can pretty much jump in the studio, get back to playing shows and hit the ground running on taking ourselves to the next level. (Album 2 in late Spring/early Summer of 2025…but you didn’t hear it from me…)”

Metal has come a long way since the birth of thrash in the 80s, but while metal continues to evolve, there will always be room for throwbacks and revivals. The future of metal is in good hands. 

Prepare To Meet Thy God is available on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Challenge Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *