Steve Souza is back and with a vengeance to show the young thrash metal upstarts how thrash metal should be done! At the ripe old age of 48 he has lost none of his venom and to use a song title from one of his previous bands,he still truly sounds “Deranged”. That band was Exodus who Steve sang for between 1986-1993 and 2001-2004. In the 1st period he sang on 6 of Exodus’ studio albums. He was also vocalist for Testament when they were previously known as Legacy, recording one demo in 1985 before he departed.
So on January 25th 2013, Massacre Records released the thrashtastic debut album by Hatriot entitled Heroes Of Origin. At a running time of just under 45mins it is made up of 10 visceral thrash metal numbers with a vocal performance that shows that Steve Souza has certainly not mellowed with age. In fact he sounds even more pissed off than he did over 20 years ago!
Hatriot is no supergroup that Steve has put together. In complete contrast to that tag it is an almost family affair as his 21yr old son Cody is on bass and 18yr old son Nick is on drums who dominates the album. Heroes Of Origin is available on cd and 500 hand numbered ltd edition vinyl. It was produced by Juan Urteaga who has previously worked with Testament and Exodus. Live dates have been few so far for Hatriot consisting of support slots with Forbidden and Testament but this will soon change now Heroes of Origin has been unleashed.
The album explodes into life with opener Suicide Run, its opening scything riff similar to Black Magic by Slayer but the comparisons end there as Nick’s 1st drum assault kicks in. For an 18yr old he is an unbelievable find and cannot be accused of being in the band from nepotism as he drives through every track on Heroes Of Origin with lightning fast footwork. Steve certainly sounds his old rabid self as he screeches the “kill and kill and kill and kill” refrain with glee.
Other raging tracks of note are follower Weapons Of Class Destruction dealing with the sensitive subject of High School shootings. It has an old school thrash chugging riff which is ably backed up by yet more slamming drums with a vocal that could shatter glass! Murder American Style begins with a call and response dual riff as it continues into a mid paced thrasher with an outrageous guitar solo and wrist snapping snare drum fills. Blood Stained Wings ups the ante of intensity with Steve’s banshee howls heading through the stratosphere.
The Violent Times Of My Dark Passenger has a riff that immediately embeds itself into the brain as it weaves in between many tempo changes and more speedy twin guitar solos. Globacidal has a subdued intro as the drums pick up the pace leading into frenetic speed metal rhythms as Steve delivers his most unhinged vocal on the album. And Your Children Be Damned is another high speed workout, drum dominated with a menacing chorus of “Welcome to the house of lies,welcome to the house of torment” sung by the band then Steve.
Mechanics Of Annihilation brings to mind Rust In Peace era Megadeth but is once again owned by unbelievable drum work. The epic Shadows Of The Buried follows. A grinding Black Sabbath style intro gives way to galloping thrash metal riffs as its 6 minute running time contains dizzying time changes held down by Nick’s crushing drums. Album closer and the title track ends Heroes Of Origin on a high level as its warp speed cavalcade of riffs surge through 3 minutes of thrash heaven.
2013 will see Hatriot turning a lot of heads and to quote another Exodus song title to the Big 4, maybe its time for a ” Changing Of The Guard”!
Hatriot band line up :-
Steve Souza – Vocals.
Miguel Esparza – Guitars.
Kosta V – Guitars.
Cody Souza – Bass.
Nick Souza – Drums.
Heroes Of Origin track listing :-
Weapons Of Class Destruction.
Murder American Style.
Blood Stained Wings.
The Violent Times Of My Dark Passenger.
And Your Children Be Damned.
Mechanics Of Annihilation.
Shadows Of The Buried.
Heroes Of Origin.
I award the album 10/10!