Hatriot – Dawn of the Centurion (2014)

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Only a short year after the release of the debut album, Heroes of Origin, the time has come for a second full length album from Zetro and the boys, and I’ll just say it right away: I love it.

My expectations where flying high after the incredible debut, but I had a few doubts as well, mainly because of the short amount of time that had passed. In my experience few bands pull off an album a year. It’s usually followed by a decline in quality and an increase in filler material. Thus, I was hoping for gold, but prepared for shit.

But the Hatriot boys delivered a high quality record, and topped their debut. The opener is just killer, From my Cold Dead Hands is fast and fist-pumping. The Fear Within is a brilliant thrash song, and I just love the riff. Superkillafriblablabala is seriously unserious song, and the lyrics are hilarious. The title track is also recommended for thrashtasticness. In fact, there are no bad songs on the album, a few weaker ones, but still good.

The lack of new thinking is quite obvious though, and the songwriting and the sound is very similar to the debut, except for the bass sound, which has gotten a lot better. All in all, this album is more consistent and is everything I was hoping for.

I guess you have to enjoy Zetro vocals to like this album, because they are the focal point of the music.

There has been some critique about the similarities between Hatriot and Exodus, and how Hatriot is ripping Exodus off. There has been quite some time since Exodus actually sounded like this, in fact the last time was on Tempo of the Damned, when Zetro was still in that band. Exodus has abandoned this sound for a more “hard core-ish” sound. So I would rather say this is what Exodus would sound like if they kept the quality and sound of that particular album up through the years.

 
Recommended downloads: From My Cold Dead Hands, Fear Within and Dawn of the Centurion

 

Rating 4 / 5

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Hatriot – Heroes of Origin (Massacre Records 2013)

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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