Hatriot - From Days Unto Darkness

Hatriot - From Days Unto Darkness

Hatriot - From Days Unto Darkness

(CD, Massacre Records, 2019)

It is true that I was not expecting to see HATRIOT keeping the lights on, after Zetro had announced that he would leave the band. Of course, Steve Souza did the logical move since EXODUS is a full-time job and, I am sure, he did not want to hold back HATRIOT. After all, the Souza name remained in the band, with Cody and Nick doing the honors. The question, of course, is how would this lineup would do in the studio and what changes one should be expecting in the third full length record. In a baker’s dozen days, everyone will be able to get a definitive answer as “From Days Unto Darkness” will be released to the public. In the meantime, you can check what I think and prime your opinion accordingly...

A clean guitar intro always works in a Thrash album in a "calm before the storm" way and soon, the distortion comes to commence the riff assault. “One Less” starts things off with a mid-tempo groove before the snare-drum kicks the door down for Steve to start singing… Oh, I am sorry, I meant Cody, but really, his pronunciation and screeching vocals share a lot of similarities with this father. Sure, the deep growling is something new to HATRIOT, but I could easily be fooled that Steve was still part of the band. I think this is the definition of the apple does not fall far from the tree, right? From the singing aspect, there are no easily identifiable changes (aside from the growls) and therefore, HATRIOT have stayed on the tracks the first two albums have established. What I believe has changed a bit are the guitars where they sound they have more space to create more complicated solo and riffs.

On the other hand, approaching “From Days Unto Darkness” with a mindset of finding similarities and differences is the wrong way to go. The album has a strong footing on the Bay Area Thrash and has pushed the envelope to sound a bit more modern and less traditional, if you may. No, this is not a bad thing and, in fact, it is great to see these guys adding their way in this type of Thrash. Check how “Daze Into Darkness” ventures into more modern sounds with more growling and awesome lead guitars where melody and complicated structures are cleverly mixed. I mean, it is easy for a highly-skilled guitarist to get lost in his own writing but, in the case of HATRIOT, they seem to be using the best of both worlds. After spinning the album quite a lot, I found myself gravitating more towards the longer tracks, like the killer “Organic Remains” with the (early) SLAYER-esque riffs, the pounding rhythm (the snare-drum kills) and the sweet bass that has its own voice in the mix. The latter, will always work for me especially in Thrash.

I think HATRIOT have placed themselves in a unique position of bridging the old-school fans with some fresh blood that will get enticed by the additional growling aggression. “World, Flesh & Devil” is a solid example of the new elements the band has brought in and those seem to be working extremely well. If you are looking for something to get some toxic waltz going (a.k.a. mosh-pit), then “Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed” has your back with sweet snare-drumming and more growling as compared to the rest. The guitar sound has kept the connection with EXODUS intact and honestly, I do not see something negative on this. After all, good Thrash from the West Coast is bound to have such references. Again, the lead guitars offer busy tabs but do not mess with the band’s strong traditional Thrash profile. It seems to me that Kostas and Kevin had a lot of riffs and solos in the making and they made sure to use as much as possible. By the way, the double bass drumming close to the end of this one could easily be the reason for some violent-friendly circle-pit action.

The bottom line is that not only HATRIOT kept the band going after losing Steve, but have managed to put together a solid piece of Thrash and proved to be bold enough to change things a bit. Don’t be scared by the modern elements I mentioned above, because they do work and at the end of the day, this lineup had to prove that they can keep the ball rolling and revamp their music writing approach. “From Days Unto Darkness” turned out to be a killer album, so mark your calendars and get this one hot from the press.

9/10


Links:

www.HatriotMetal.Com
www.MySpace.Com/Hatriot_Metal
www.FaceBook.Com/Hatriot
www.Twitter.Com/HatriotMetal


Tracklist:

01. One Less Hell
02. Daze Into Darkness
03. Carnival Of Execution
04. Organic Remains
05. World, Flesh & Devil
06. Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
07. In The Mind Of The Mad
08. Delete
09. Ethereal Nightmare


Lineup:

Kosta V. - Guitar
Kevin Paterson - Guitar
Nick Souza - Drums
Cody Souza - Vocals, Bass