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Hatriot - "Heroes Of Origin" (CD)

Hatriot - "Heroes Of Origin" CD cover image

"Heroes Of Origin" track listing:

1. Suicide Run (3:58)
2. Weapons of Class Destruction (4:47)
3. Murder American Style (3:57)
4. Blood Stained Wings (4:36)
5. The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger (4:38)
6. Globicidal (3:58)
7. And Your Children to Be Damned (4:07)
8. The Mechanics of Annihilation (4:11)
9. Shadows of the Buried (6:23)
10. Heroes of Origin (3:11)

Reviewed by on March 6, 2013

"'Heroes of Origin' is thrash metal as fans expect from an album barring the distinct vocals of Souza."

In the decade since vocalist Steve 'Zetro' Souza left Exodus for the second time, he’s been keeping himself active. Two albums with Dublin Death Patrol and a role in the excellent Tenet album “Sovereign” back in 2009 are the prominent highlights. Hatriot is a return to the Exodus style of thrash, and it’s a family affair for Souza. Bringing along his two sons, Cody and Nick, as his steady rhythm backing, Hatriot is what fans of the vocalist have been clamoring for since he helped reinvigorate Exodus with “Tempo Of The Damned.”

“Heroes of Origin” is thrash metal as fans expect from an album barring the distinct vocals of Souza. His voice appears to have lost little of the venom that he first showed on “Pleasures of the Flesh” back in the late ‘80s. Though there is a modern shine to the album, apparent with the overly-triggered drums, the songwriting has its place in the glory days of thrash metal (just ignore the awful album cover, which looks like it was done by a teenager using Photoshop for the first time).

While recent Exodus albums have gone for the “longer is better” mindset, “Heroes of Origin” breaks away from that with a focus on bite-sized morsels of delectable anger. Souza wails against society’s norms, the media, and anything else that pisses him off. The guitars devour the music, with screeching trade-off leads blindsiding the listener. Souza found himself two relative unknowns to provide guitars, and they put in solid work. The title track shows off their extensive skills, though it’s not just contained to that one song.

“Suicide Run” is a beastly opener, not relenting on the ‘80s-inspired riffs. Hatriot can get the pace going when the situation requires, though most of the songs aren’t as no-holds-barred as “Suicide Run” and the title track. There’s an underlying groove to most of these songs that is integrated in with the thrash tempos, and the band situates themselves accordingly in either field. “Blood Stained Wings” and “The Violent Times of My Dark Passenger” are back-to-back with these traits exposed, and the middle of the record exploits the two sides of the band to its fullest effect.

If there is a outright knock against “Heroes of Origin,” it’s how comfortable the band gets with their sound. There’s a lot to be said about a band sticking to what they know, but near the end of the album, there’s a slight “heard this one before” aura to the songs. “Shadows of the Buried” is Hatriot’s one attempt to break from this, with a six-minute anthem that features melodic guitar, a restrained vocal performance, and a measure of a broader musical stroke. Another track or two of this nature would have been a benefit to the album.

“Heroes of Origin” is not the groundbreaking thrash album that some may believe it to be, though it’s still a great album for the genre. For a style that has been around for over three decades now, there’s not much to be surprised about. The main shock to come from “Heroes of Origin” is how superb Souza still sounds, like he is in the midst of his prime. Hatriot is a way for Souza to remind listeners of his one-of-a-kind voice, while introducing us to his sons and two gifted, young guitarists.

Highs: Steve “Zetro” Souza's voice is top-notch, has an '80s thrash feel without sounding retro, an abundance of stellar guitar solos

Lows: Similar-sounding songs in the second half, loud drum triggers distract at times from the rest of the instruments

Bottom line: Steve “Zetro” Souza returns with the thrash group Hatriot, showing that he has lost little of the fire and passion he showed with Exodus.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)