Hatriot - Heroes of Origin (Massacre Records)

Release Date: 
24 Jan 2013 - 11:30pm


“Let's give them what I've done for the last thirty years...typical bay area thrash, with just a hint of new school flare.”

So said Hatriot mainman Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza in an interview with this very organ last year when unveiling his new band to a waiting world. Whilst admittedly pretty excited that the man was back and reportedly doing what he’s always done best, I must admit to having been a bit worried by the last three words of that sentence. 

New School flare. As it goes I needn’t have bothered with the sleepless nights as, save for some dynamic and very moderne footwork from drumming son Nick Souza, what you get on Heroes of Origin is pure, no-holds-barred old school bay area thrash. And it’s a ripping good example of the genre too.

Souza snr is in fine, deranged voice throughout, his voice giving momentum to such hate-fuelled tunes as The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger, Murder American Style and Globacidal; if anything his voice has matured into twice the force it was on those early Exodus albums he appeared on. Hatred, spite and bile drip from his lips as he barks out the lyrics in a staccato, syncopated style that fits the choppy, downstroked riffage of new thrash axe god Kosta Vervatakis to a tee.  He may be entering a comfortable middle age in ‘real’ life but for all the evidence here on this album its clear that Zetro is still getting riled up about a whole host of annoying stuff. And it’s infectious, let me tell you. Try as you might, it’s almost impossible not to start a pit in your own living room when And Your Children to be Damned gets going; an absolutely staggering song that features Souza barking away like a particularly annoyed Gollum whilst the band thrash like the proverbial maniacs around a simple riff that ‘s impossible to deny… this really is what thrash metal should sound like in 2013, believe me.

Souza’s other son, the bass playing Cody, features with some nice work on the neck-snapping The Mechanics of Annihilation,  whilst the albums longest track, the slow-paced yet still devastatingly powerful  Shadows of the Buried, features some frankly mental guitar duelling from Vervatakis and six string partner Miguel Esparza – could they be the latest great thrash axe partnership? Quite possibly. 

Of course that will only happen if Hatriot get to make more albums and, on the strength of this debut I for one find myself hoping that that’s the case – this is utterly top notch thrash which, if you enjoyed last year’s Testament album (to which Zetro contributed about two thirds of the lyrics, by the way), is an absolute must-have addition to your collection in 2013. Now, how about a world tour?