After few years of silence, Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza returns to the world of thrash metal. In the years since his departure from Exodus, after their brilliant comeback ‘Tempo of the damned’, Zetro has been rather busy. First with publicly arguing with former Exodus band mates, then with the underrated Tenet and lately with putting together his own crew under the name of Hatriot.
As a longtime fan of Zetro, I have been eagerly scanning the net for updates on the band, and smiled to myself as Zetro has publicly justified hiring his sons as the rhythm section and has tried to make nice with Gary Holt. My expectations where high when the full length album was announced, especially after the great demo released in 2011.
Now to the actual music: There is little originality or new thinking on this record, but it is a solid piece of thrash metal. The aggression, speed, shrieking vocals, blasting drums, over the top guitars solos, but where’s the bass? Hidden in the mix somewhere would be my guess, maybe hiring your son wasn’t the best idea after all?
There are no big disappointments here, and most of the songs are of good quality, but they tend to blend with each other after a few listenings. A few standouts deserve mention: Weapons of Class Destruction, Blood Stained Wings, Globicidal and The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger. A few songs, no, actually most of them, sound like Exodus songs. This includes the opening track Suicide Run, Mechanics of Annihilation and the songs mentioned above. This is not a bad thing, and makes me think that Zetro brought more to the songwriting table in Exodus than Mr Holt lead on. One the things I really enjoy is that they don’t just go for the palm muted chugga chugga riffs, on which too many thrash metal acts heavily rely.
Even though there is nothing new here, I’m not disappointed. This is what I expected, to be honest. It’s fast, it’s brutal, it’s what thrash metal is all about. But. The sterile production doesn’t work that well for thrash. It reminds me of Lamb of Gods ridiculously overproduced albums and gives no room to move and groove like thrash should. Another issue is the ridiculous lyrics. Sometimes they remind me of the ones I used to write when trying to be hard and cool as a fourteen year old.
Luckily I don’t really care that much about either production or lyrics, so the overall feel of this album is still very good. Lacking some imagination and getting a few years to solidify their sound and style, Hatriot will be on of thrash metals shining stars
Rating: 4 / 5