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Quite Possibly the Fastest Thrash of '85 - 90%

aces_high, January 27th, 2009

What’s this? A combination of crossover and speed metal?! Fuck Yeah! Hirax is one of those one-in-a-million kinda bands. If you’re not familiar with their sound then you might want to check them out. The core genre of Hirax is crossover thrash, like D.R.I. only faster!

But instead of having a dude screaming random shit into the mic like most crossover bands, Hirax has a vocalist straight out of a speed metal band! Katon De Pena can best be described as “soaring,” not quite your King Diamond where-have-my-balls-gone falsetto, but still well above the mid range. Nobody I’ve ever heard sounds like this guy. Nobody. He’s in his own little world.

The riffs are totally awesome, ranging from power metal to hardcore punk to brutal thrash. Sometimes during the speedy sections the riffs almost melt together because they’re played so fast! Hirax doesn’t overstay their welcome like some bands would in the coming years; only two songs break the three-minute mark. The bass isn’t hard to hear, but all it does is follow the guitars.

The drummer also deserves a mention. Apparently he didn’t cut the mustard and was ousted for the next album, but I think he’s great. He has a hard time keeping in time with the band, but I think that makes the music more interesting. When the pace picks up it sounds like the band is on the brink of chaos, always about to totally lose control and fuck up but they never do. I dunno, sometimes it’s nice to hear a “loose” drummer instead of a precision machine like Gene Hoglan.

Now I’ve heard some bitching in the metal community about Christian lyrics on here, and it’s true that there are a few, but don’t worry they’re not preaching on every song, guys! The only thing resembling bible-thumping on this album would be “Demons’ Evil Forces.” Otherwise everything's happening so fast I can’t hear what he’s saying, honestly. Besides, how preachy could you expect it to be with song titles like “Bombs of Death,” “Warlord’s Command,” and “Gauntlet?”

Well this is about as unique and as fast as a thrash band could get in 1985. It’s a shame these guys didn’t get a little more recognition, but I digress. Pick this sucker up if you’re into classic metal or thrash.