One of the first things that strikes you about the new album by Californian thrashers Hatriot is just how great vocalist Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza is sounding these days. His trademark high pitched, angry version of Bon Scott sounds so good that it could be someone half his age singing instead. Hang on, what do you mean it is?
Yes, taking over the vocal duties for their third full-length release, bassist/frontman Cody Souza is every bit his father’s son, and more. Being able to add a low-end roar reminiscent of Testament vocalist Chuck Billy, gives many of the songs on From Days Unto Darkness (Massacre Records) that extra level of depth and dimension.
It’s not all about Cody though, as his brother Nick Souza is fast becoming a highly accomplished drummer, driving each song with impressive double kicks and rolls. Guitarists Kosta Varvatakis and Kevin Paterson have clearly spent much of their time worshipping at the altar of Exodus, as their punchy Bay Area riffing, especially on songs like opener ‘One Less Hell’, ‘Organic Remains’ and the fast-paced ‘Delete’ sound unsurprisingly reminiscent of a certain Mr. Gary Holt. Meanwhile, cuts like ‘Daze Into Darkness’, and closer ‘Ethereal Nightmare’ prove the band aren’t content with sitting still, showing definite signs of progression with little melodic flourishes and different styles of riffing.
Far from being Exodus: The Next Generation, Hatriot is undeniably improving with each release, and with Zetro pulling away, this could hopefully be the move which allows them to take that next step forward.
7 / 10