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Hirax - Immortal Legacy

Label: SPV
Format: CD download
Released: 2014
Reviewed By: Mark Gromen
Rating: 7/ 10


In this day of Johnny-come-lately retro acts, it’s nice to see an original still treading the boards. Katon De Pena has been flying the flag since the early 80s, a friend/contemporary of all the great Bay Area thrashers. In fact, he’s aided on these dozen choices by guitarists Jim Durkin (Dark Angel), Juan Garcia (Agent Steel/Evildead) and Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies). The online version includes an extra track (‘Mephistopheles’), while the vinyl will add ‘Mass Hysteria’. Despite never getting a taste of the (sour) grapes, the singer’s never forsaken Hirax and their thrash/crossover sound.

 

Inking with SPV is easily the premier label Hirax have been associated with (including their initial pair of mid-80s releases on Metal Blade, when it was THE worldwide home of metal). As such the production reigns above their other output. A galloping ‘Victims Of The Dead’ sees Katon wandering into Blitz (Overkill) vocal territory, especially on the highs, while the impossibly long-winded ‘Thunder Roar, The Conquest, La Bocas de la Bestia - The Mouth Of The Beast’ is a gradual, slow boiler. An otherwise non-descript ‘Tied To The Gallows Pole’ spotlights the guitars, with plenty of riffs, squelches and histrionics. Ditto the more aggressive, whammy bar happy ‘Violence Of Action’. A bass solo (‘Journey To Atlantis’) opens ‘The World Will Burn’ finale. Don't know about immortal, but certainly a welcome addition to the De Pena/Hirax legacy.

 
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