Released: 2014, Massacre Records
I missed the debut album by Steve "Zetro" Souza’s band Hatriot, but I am most definitely catching up with the band courtesy of the new album and sophomore effort DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION. For those who also missed Hatriot’s debut, the band is very much a family affair, with Souza’s two sons handling bass and drum duties. Secret weapon though is guitarist Kosta “V”, who plays with blinding speed and precision, packing an aggressive and slicing style through melodic thrash anthems.
DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION is unmistakably an angry affair. Souza’s biting lyrics deliver venom and vile, pointing a scathing finger at politicians, censorship and sex abuse. The opening two tracks are the pure thrashers, a combination of modern Testament and Souza’s caustic vocals. The album’s first single, “The Fear Within” is an immediate attention grabber, mixing a melodic and mid –paced opening and middle section with aggressive thrash verses. There is no question that the band soaked up the direction that Kreator took on PHANTOM ANTICHRIST on this tune, and the similarities are conspicuous.
Expectedly, there is quite a bit of Exodus thrown in the mix notably on the chugging “Silence In The House Of The Lord”, a classic throwback to Souza’s former band with another Testament influenced opening riff. “World Funeral” also has a vintage Bay Area vibe, complete with gang vocals through most of the song. Rounding out the retro trio of tunes is “Superkillafragsadisticactsaresoatrocious”, a play on Mary Poppins. Sure the song title is beyond ludicrous, but the song itself is pure Exodus. Musically this is a band on fire, particularly in the ferocious and meaty riffs interspersed with melodic harmonies. Souza sounds like a raving lunatic, the man often concentrating so hard on being angry that many of the songs sound like a pissed-off rant, where an actual attempt to sing here and there would have been a nice contrast.
Anger and vitriol litter DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION in abundance, and the band backing Souza is certainly a capable group. Weaknesses are the repetitive vocals as well as songs that range from inspiring, to pedestrian, homogenous and often forgettable. Overall, DAWN OF THE NEW CENTURION is a respectable and solid release, sure to wreck a few necks without pushing any boundaries ,nor is it likely to leave any deep-rooted impressions. Recommended for fans of Exodus, Kreator and Testament.