Written by Chris Slack
Saturday, 14 June 2008 22:31
Get out your moshing boots boys and girls, cult Southern California thrashers Hirax are back with a new CD for your listening pleasure! I’m sure some of you remember this group from their debut “Raging Violence” back in the day and Katon W. DePena’s air-raid siren like vocals. While that album was pretty good, Katon’s wildly soaring vocals got on my nerves after a while and prevented it from being one of my favorites at the time. When I got the promo pack in the mail I was somewhat worried that this one would be more of the same.
Fortunately those fears were completely ungrounded in reality. Katon has toned down his vocal approach considerably and now sounds something like a hardcore crossbreed of Bon Scott and Chuck Billy, a definite improvement if you ask me. Songs on the new CD (more of a mini-CD as it clocks in at 22:15) range from up-tempo thrash to the classic circle pit mosh beat we all know to the acoustic peacefulness of the closing track “French Pearl”. Musicianship is good but some more soloing would be nice. Conspicuously lacking were some of the superfast type of songs featured on “Raging Violence”.
All in all this was a solid effort from Hirax, probably the best record they have ever released. Anyone who enjoys old-school thrash (or crossover) will want to get this one. Many kudos to Katon for the vocals on this one, they go MUCH better with the music. For more info on the band check out http://www.hirax.org/
If you’re in the Washington State area on August 3rd you can check them out live at the Abrasive Rock Festival. For more info on that check out http://www.abrasiverock.com/
01. Murder One
02. Barrage of Noise
03. Walk with Death
04. Broken Neck
06. Mouth Sewn Shut
07. Beyond the Church (Part One)
08. French Pearl
(Deep Six Records) Rating: 7 /10