Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hatriot-Heroes Of Origin

Massacre Records

Well folks get ready for here it is. Finally. This was a long time coming so it was indeed a pleasant surprise to find this album hidden amongst the promo at Haulix. It's funny as I was just thinking about Hatriot the other day. Weirdly enough I had just about made up my mind to try to drop Hatriot's founder a note to see what's what. Said founder of course is the one (and truly only with that voice!) Steven "Zetro" Souza. With time spent in some of the greats ( he's had stints in Legacy, F-Bomb, Testament, Dublin Death Patrol and Tenet as well as his two stints in Exodus) Steve Souza is truly a legend in the eyes on many. You can count me in that group. His work with Exodus alone is enough to place him amongst the best of the best when it comes to thrash metal vocalists. His fame is already cemented for all time so a band like Hatriot can only add to that legacy. Before we get into the who's who of  Hatriot and the band's sound it's worth noting that the album was produced by Juan Urteaga at Trident Studios (Testament, Heathen, Exodus, Skinlab). Juan Urteaga has worked with some great bands. Far too many to count. So his expertise comes into play on Hatriot's debut album. In his skilled hand's Hatriot has unleashed a great-sounding album with an almost classic thrash production job. It's not overly slick which I like. At the same time it chives it's goal of letting all the pieces fall together in place. It allows the band room to breath while keeping everything in check. While it has nothing to do with the product inside the cover art and booklet was designed by Mark Devito. Again the band choose to work with someone who has been there and back with some choice bands like Motörhead, Lääz Rockit, Ruffians and Exodus. Yes, Exodus. That brings up one point about "Heroes Of Origin". If you are like me and you grew up with those first couple of Exodus albums then Steven "Zetro" Souza will always be the voice of the band. As such you can't help but draw a line between Exodus and Hatriot. That is no knock on Hatriot though. If they can pull off something as killer as early Exodus then you know you are on to something. I'd thus argue that Exodus is the first point of reference, but there are other bands that come to mind. Bay Area thrash is a good place to start. Keep in mind that these bands I will talk about next should all be classified as "early". You know, early Bay Are thrash. Early Heathen, early Metallica, early Testament, etc. Early Bay Area thrash like Forbiden, Vio-lence, Sadus and Death Angel are essential points of reference as is early Anthrax and Lääz Rock (especially around the time of "Know Your Enemy" and the absolute classic "Annihilation Principle"). If you can imagine it Hatriot are a little of all those bounds with a nice chunk of prime Exodus as the main ingredient. By that I mean that this is one fantastic thrash album. It's as simple as that. Love classic thrash? If you answered yes then that is all you need to know about this album. Even so it wouldn't be right if I didn't mention the background players in Hatriot. Steve is aided by four very talented musicians-three of whom are fairly young. You have the young guitar wizard Kosta Varvatakis. I assume he does the lead work on this album and, if that is indeed the case, he is a truly excellent guitar player. Helping him out is guitarist Miguel Esparza. These two guys know their stuff. The guitars are everything you love about classic thrash. They are fast, furious and above all fun! Just like the thrash bands of old! So, that is the guitars which brings us to the rythm section. Here we find the other two young players. The rhythm section is filled out by Steve's sons! Yes, Steve's son's (Cody and Nick) handle bass and drums and they do a damn good job at it! Cody takes care of the bass duties while Nick takes the drums. Talk about a great family activity! What is it they always say? Oh, now I remember! The family that thrashes together stays together! Yes, that it about as cheesy as it comes, but this music is anything but cheesy. With two great guitarists and an excellent rhythm section to aide him this heavy metal legend has created an album for thrash fans young and old. "Heroes Of Origin" is a great new start for Steve Souza and a sign that he still has plenty left in the tank. With his sons thrashing away at his side Hatriot is a new band to keep an eye on. Welcome back into the spotlight "Zetro". You've been sorely missed!

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