A solid vocalist can distinguish music and make it memorable for the listener. Any thrash band with longevity has had a standout vocalist: Metallica (James Hetfield), Megadeth (Dave Mustaine), Overkill (Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth), Testament (Chuck Billy), Anthrax (Joey Belladonna), Kreator (Mille Petrozza), Destruction (Marcel Schirmer). I’m sure I missed a few but you get the point, a good singer typically equals a lengthy career.
Sometimes great musicians part ways, we’re not privy to why shit may have happened nor is it any of our business but metal break-ups often lead to great music. Metallica/Megadeth is one example, Exodus/Hatriot will soon be another.
Last year I reviewed Hatriot’s debut album Heroes of Origin (read it here). The album impressed me and revitalized my outlook on thrash. The band is led by Steve ‘Zetro’ Sousa of Exodus fame and is partially comprised of the famed singer’s own children.
I was intrigued by the musical family aspect of Zetro’s life and wondered what made this the right time to start another thrash band, so I interviewed Zetro about Hatriot and his plans for it (read it here). Needless to say the legendary vocalist got me fired up. Sousa admitted the band was having some difficulties landing a tour but claimed Hatriot would not stand idly by. Instead they would deliver a follow-up album within a year’s time and it would be better than the first.
I have to admit I was skeptical; Heroes of Origin is a fantastic debut album. It’s the kind of release that grows after multiple listens, tracks like: “Suicide Run”, “Weapons of Class Destruction” and “The Violent Times of my Dark Passenger” are legitimate thrash classics. This was going to be a tough act to follow.
Hatriot should have been touring the world last year but if the metal gods have been monitoring the thrash scene, they know this new album will put Hatriot in the fast lane to metal fame.
The sophomore effort is entitled Dawn of the New Centurion and the release is a step up from Heroes of Origin, which is a ‘safer’ album in the sense that the songs are in the classic thrash structure Zetro made famous.
Hatriot are finding their own sound with Dawn of the New Centurion and I like the direction they’re going. The songs are still thrashy but there are slower break downs, blast beats and even some guttural backing vocals. Each song opener highlights a specific musician, which reinforces the talent level of these artists. I believe they’re just scratching the surface of the group’s true capability.
Zetro is a lyrical master who knows how to sing complex words and make it sound effortless but the band doesn’t expect Zetro’s vocals to carry the load exclusively this time around. The musical execution on Dawn of the New Centurion is first rate, specifically the exemplary guitar work of Kosta V, whose fluid solos are certain to spawn imitators worldwide. Highlight tracks are: “Your Worst Enemy”, “Superkillafragsadisticactsareoatrocious”, “Silence in the House of the Lord” and “World Funeral”.
Thrashers take notice, Hatriot has set the bar high with this release. The old formula has found some new ingredients and the scene is being revitalized. I urge you to get off your asses and go out to the clubs, it’s time to give metal support!! \m/
1. From My Cold Dead Hands
2. Your Worst Enemy
3. The Fear Within
4. Honor The Rise And Fall
6. Silence In The House Of The Lord
7. World Funeral
8. Dawn Of The New Centurion
9. Consolation For The Insane
Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza – Vocals
Kosta V. – Guitars
Miguel Esparza – Guitars
Nick Souza – Drums
Cody Souza – Bass